The timing of Samsung's Galaxy Note 7 phablet recall could be a boon for Apple and this Friday's debut of the iPhone 7 Plus, one analyst believes, as preorder lead times are said to be on pace with expectations.
Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray said the exploding battery issue with Samsung's competing Galaxy Note 7 could provide a "slight tailwind" for Apple and sales of the iPhone 7 Plus. The issue has ballooned into a public relations crisis for Samsung, as the company issued a global recall for the device just before its primary competitor, the iPhone 7 Plus, was announced.
"The recall couldn't have come at a better time for Apple and worse time for Samsung," Munster wrote.
AppleInsider confirmed earlier Monday that some American Airlines and Delta flights have been instructing passengers to power down all Samsung phones — not just the Note 7, despite the fact that it is believed to be the only affected device.
Last week, the Federal Aviation Administration issued a public statement warning passengers against using the Note 7 in flight, and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission also urged all owners to turn off their device.
Separate from the Samsung issue, Munster has been tracking wait times on new iPhone 7 preorders.
As of Monday, customers who buy a 4.7-inch iPhone 7 are estimated to see a wait time of 1 to 2 weeks. That compares to waits of between 7 and 10 days at the same point for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s. But the iPhone 6s also had an extra week between its announcement and launch, providing Apple more time to build inventory and handle demand at launch.
Notably, the wait time for the iPhone 7 Plus as of Monday was just 2 to 3 weeks on average — Â less than the wait time of 3 to 4 weeks for the iPhone 6 Plus and iPhone 6s Plus during the same point in preorders.
Munster believes the shorter wait times for this year's iPhone 7 Plus could be representative of the fact that Apple is producing greater quantities of the 5.5-inch model this year. The camera on the iPhone 7 Plus is a unique dual-lens system with optical zoom, while the smaller iPhone 7 continues to feature a single-lens camera without optical zoom.
For the duration of the iPhone 7 product cycle, Munster believes Apple will see sales grow 11 percent over the iPhone 6s product cycle.
The first indication of iPhone 7 performance will have to wait until Apple's next quarterly earnings report in October. Though Apple has historically announced opening weekend sales for a new model's debut, the company revealed last week that it will end that practice this year, citing the fact that demand outstrips supply at launch.
For more, see AppleInsider's hands-on look at the iPhone 7 from last week's media briefing in San Francisco.