It’s no secret that the iPhone X has struggled to meet expectations. Rumours that Apple would be abandoning the phone after a generation, rather than giving it a cut-price retirement hardly point to a device that’s enjoying incredible sales – but a new report from Nikkei illustrates the severity of the problem.
According to the report, “disappointing holiday season sales” in Europe, the USA and China have led to Apple instructing its suppliers to halve production targets of the device to 20 million, down from 40 million. While iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 targets remain steady at 30 million, suppliers are going to be particularly peeved that several billion dollars’ worth of expected revenue just won’t appear.
All of this has hit Apple’s stock prices, dropping 6% on it’s all time high of $180.10 per share on 18 January. Shares are now worth a still very valuable $167.96 – though that translates to a $60 billion loss on its peak just 12 days ago.
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This is obviously not an ideal state of affairs, and there are a number of theories as to why it’s struggling. One is that in China, the phone just doesn’t have a big enough screen to compete, but that doesn’t explain the sluggish sales in the US and Europe, where perhaps the answer is a bit more obvious: it’s very, very expensive. Combine that with the fact that there are two perfectly good iPhone 8 models that start at a 30% lower price, and it was always going to be a tough sell.
So while the iPhone X isn’t setting the world alight at the moment, it’s likely Apple will take one or more of these lessons on board for the next generation. It’ll almost certainly be larger to cater to the Chinese audience, but it could also be cheaper in the West. Alternatively, the other models could just be more expensive to make the flagship look better value in comparison.
We’re still some way off the next big iPhone event, expected in September, but in the meantime, spare a thought for Samsung: the South Korean giants could have made a killing if the iPhone X sold brilliantly…
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