Ever since we broke the $ 1,000 iPhone X price tag, I was wondering what the buyer's reaction would be. Today, almost six months after the start of the X., the verdict could be missed.
The iPhone X had a promising first quarter. It seemed that consumers really paid more than just a price for one of those shiny things that have become the organizational center of our lives. "IPhone X has exceeded our expectations and has been our bestselling iPhone every week since its delivery in November," Apple CEO Tim Cook told analysts after reporting strong earnings for the holiday quarter. Apple does not earn revenue from individual phone models, but a higher average selling price (ASP) of the iPhone strongly suggests strong sales of the X and the iPhone 8 Plus.
There is not much doubt that after a year of anticipation, many of the tech-affine and Apple loyalists hurried out to buy an X after it hit the shelves in early November.
Apple will report results for its March final quarter in May, and most analysts believe that iPhone sales will be fairly typical of the first quarter of the year. But by the second calendar quarter of 201
Some supply chain reports this week suggest that consumers are not shopping in high volumes. Yesterday, one of the most important chipmakers for the iPhone X, TSMC, lowered its full-year sales forecast based on weak chip orders. The same applies to AMS, which offers 3D sensor technology for the X. This suggested to Mirailaud Securities chip industry analyst Neil Campling that Apple had withdrawn its chip orders for the X
"With the declines in iPhone X orders and stock levels at TSMC at record highs, that's basically the necessity Because the iPhone X is dead, "Campling wrote in a research note, adding that Apple was likely to shut down the phone this summer. Campling believes that the X price keeps people from buying.
For Morgan Stanley analyst Katie Huberty, weak chip demand was one of several factors directly pointing to weak iPhone sales later this year. Accordingly, on Friday she dramatically downgraded her team's iPhone sales for the June final quarter from 40.5 million to 34 million.
"China's smartphone activation data indicates a reversal of Apple's share price development with losses leading to major headwinds in the largest smartphone market by March," the analyst wrote in the Research Note.
To top it off, the The Wall Street Journal on Friday reported that LG might not be able to deliver the expensive OLED displays for high-end iPhones eventually. Apple had hoped that LG would help it at least offset its dependence on Samsung for the displays, but that seems to be in doubt.
It was all enough to scare investors. Apple shares fell 4% on Friday.
¯_ (ツ) _ / ¯ pic.twitter.com/Wq3uYxMhuh
– Joe Rossignol (@rsgnl) April 20, 2018  Doom-and-Gloom Doubers
Of course, Apple Watchers have heard these doom-and-gloomy stories many times, sometimes with other products that have proven to be good. And more than a few people called Mirabaud's Campling for announcing the summer death of the iPhone X.
Among them was Patrick Moorhead, an analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy, with his usual flair:
"Apple is not" "Killing the iPhone X – that's absurd and a reckless thing to say," he wrote an e-mail to Fast Company Friday. "Apple sold more iPhone Xs than any other phone in the last quarter, even though it was the most expensive. While the numbers slacken a bit, it's still hot."
"I expect Apple to be the iPhone X like any other phone replaced with an improved iPhone X, "Moorhead continued. "The suppliers in question are either cut out of the new model or have not yet seen the orders for the new model."
That's certainly plausible, though, when I saw Campling's comments, I quickly recalled a poll conducted in early March by Piper Jaffray. The company asked the following question: "You currently own an iPhone, yet you have not upgraded to the best Apple phone, the iPhone X (which Apple believes). Why?" Most of the answers Piper Jaffray received were at least related to the price. Thirty-one percent said it was "too expensive" and bawled at the $ 999 and $ 1,149 price tags on the iPhone X. 44% said "my iPhone works well," a decision that is necessarily influenced by the cost of the alternative upgrade.
I also recalled the news earlier this week that Apple might release a series of far cheaper phones this September. KGI Securities' usually-reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said in a study that Apple would introduce a 6.1-inch dual SIM iPhone with a price between $ 650 and $ 750, along with a single-SIM Model low as $ 550. It is expected that Apple will also refresh its cheapest phone, the 349 iPhone SE, in the next few months. In short, there are indications that Apple will appeal to the many consumers who will never equip a grand for a phone.
The price of the iPhone X is a particular problem in the largest smartphone market in the world, in China, where iPhone sales have been greatly dampened by less expensive phones from domestic companies such as Huawei, Xiaomi, Vivo and Oppo. Some macro factors also play a role. The global smartphone market is shrinking. And people stick to their older phones longer.
But no, I do not think it's likely that Apple would drop the X this summer. The optics alone would be too negative. Kuo also believes that Apple will introduce some new, high-priced mobile phones carrying the "X" brand in September. These include a second-generation X with a 5.8-inch OLED display and a larger 6.5-inch version that could be called the iPhone X Plus. There's a good chance that both phones will start at $ 1000 or more, especially since Apple is likely to pay a premium price for the Samsung displays in them.
If Apple ends the year with its portfolio of iPhones, Kuo has outlined from $ 349 to well over $ 1,000, bringing the company as close as possible to offering something to everyone. And we may have a much better idea of his confidence in the future of the ultra-premium category that it has established with the iPhone X.