The eye-watering iPhone X price (from $1579) burned a hole in consumers pockets. But the apparent lack of demand has burned even deeper holes in supplier’s pockets.
Apple vigorously guards its sales figures, so, no one knows iPhone X sales. All it reports is ‘strong iPhone sales’.
GadgetGuy reported in February that the Nikkei Asian Review said that Apple had notified its suppliers of a 50% reduction in its orders to only produce around 20 million X handsets in Q1, 2018.
Now reports say that X production has been cut yet again to 8 million units in Q2, 2018.
Analysts and component makers agree that Apple made 40 million X in Q4, 2017. But sales stalled and analysts are saying the iPhone X is a flop.
Apple analysts now say that total sales of the iPhone X will be around 41 million. That leaves a very big boatload of stock in warehouses. Potentially 27 million unsold which is more than Apple expect to sell before a model refresh in November.
Consumer Intelligence Research Partner reports are even more pessimistic.
Josh Lowitz, CIRP Partner and Co-Founder said, “iPhone X saw its share fall to 16%, down from 20% in the December 2017 quarter. iPhone 8/Plus share improved relative to the December 2017 quarter, 44% of sales, compared to 41% in the last quarter.”
iPhone models introduced in 2015 and 2016 continued to show strong sales. The year-old iPhone 7/Plus accounted for almost 20% of sales, and the two-year-old iPhone 6S/Plus had 13% of sales. Even the SE held its own at 8%, down slightly from 11%, and actually up slightly over the December 2017 quarter.
With eight models available, and the newest ones costing close to $1,000, consumers appear to want older, cheaper models that have many of the same features.
Still to sell 60 million plus iPhone X is an achievement. Especially if Apple retrospectively claims it was a one-off model.
The iPhone X losers are its suppliers
If the iPhone X is a flop, then its suppliers suffer.
Samsung has reported lower than expected orders for the iPhone X OLED screen. It has advised its turnover will be down by over US$1 billion this quarter.
TSMC (chip maker) has reported a 10% revenue drop.
Laser technology company AMS that is behind the iPhone X facial recognition system is hurting. Its shares tumbled 14% on news of Apple cutbacks.
Reuters notes that two other companies were hit. Dialog Semiconductor, which supplies power management chips to Apple, fell 5.4% while STMicro fell as much as 4% in early trading.
Barclays analyst Andrew Gardiner said that poor iPhone X sales were the reason. “The imminent end-of-life for iPhone X is leading to a deeper trough than the most cautious of estimates.”
Why is the iPhone X not selling like hotcakes?
- The iPhone X notch is here to stay – maybe. The Asian market has voted that they don’t like it despite Huawei emulating it on the latest P20/Pro. “The top-notch phone isn’t what it is cracked up to be.”
- The eye-watering price does not help. “Apple will never concede that at $1549 it is far too expensive … Time for Apple to get a reality check methinks.”
- The feature set is not sufficient to entice iPhone 6/7 users to migrate. Comments usually follow, “It does nothing that I need or want to do that my iPhone 7 can’t do for half the price. How stupid do you think we are? Very obviously.”
- Macworld reports, “All the latest problems to afflict the iPhone X, including unresponsive screens, incoming call delays, Face ID security, buzzing speakers, headaches and a green line…”
- Qualcomm simply wants the iPhone X gone – and is trying to sue Apple accordingly
Please don’t get GadgetGuy wrong – we believe Tim Cook’s oft-repeated, trite, cliché, “It is the best iPhone ever made” just as Steve Jobs et al. have described every other iPhone.