iPhone X shipments an unknown variable as billions drop off Apple’s valuation
- Apple reported to have slashed production
- Price tag partly to blame for poor sales
- Lack of innovation and new features hasn’t helped
Apple appears to have found the upper limit to smartphone pricing as its much trumpeted iPhone X refuses to fly off the shelves the way it was supposed to. Perhaps it was its $1000 price tag? As a result the US company is reported to have notified its suppliers in Asia that it will cut iPhone x production in this quarter to 20 million, down from 40 million following slower-than-expected sales over the gift-buying season in Europe, the U.S. and China.
That was enough to panic the stock market into a share devaluation of $3.11 yesterday, with Apple shares ending up at 166.85 at the time of writing. Apple’s share price had peaked at $180.10 on or around January 18 when the US changed its corporation tax arrangements, but the price has skated down since on rumours that the ‘x’ was just that: an unknown variable. The share movement has devalued Apple to the tune of $60 billion.
That stock market nervousness was underpinned by an understandable worry that the iPhone x was not offering enough useful innovation to justify the stiff price tag.
One of Apple’s tricks in the past has been to major on screen resolution and colour improvements. This time around it had decided to go big on the x’s organic light emitting diode (OLED), a technology supplied by arch-enemy Samsung. The OLED screen was thought to be highly responsible for the iPhone x’s high price tag - that and a startling lack of new features and clever additions that usually accompany an important iPhone iteration.
Apple isn’t alone in finding the smartphone market tough-going this year, leading to speculation that something profound had just happened. In China, the world’s largest smartphone market, shipments fell 4 per cent in 2017, it was reported today.
Again, the problem was thought to have been lack of technical innovation for at least the last half of the year, confirmed analysts.