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Apple Finally Made a Dud iPhone ?

9/30/2017 Anant Goel & Alan Kyle Goel

In the past when Apple would release a new iPhone that didn’t feel like much of advancement, but sales would rocket and go off the charts anyway.

The Hype…

In July 2017, a month before the launch, technology analysts were falling over themselves to roll back overly optimistic sales predictions for the iPhone 8. Regardless of some roll back, Apple share prices are hitting record highs thanks to hype that was building up around the iPhone 8, which has been regarded thus far as the biggest iPhone upgrade since the original.

The Reality…

Is Apple iPhone 8 A Dud?

Apple has had a shocking weekend when compared to previous iPhone launches. The Apple faithful failed to turn up in droves for the new iPhone 8 and even Apple fan Mazen Kourouche who camped outside the company’s Sydney George street store for 10 days said that he was disappointed and that he was giving his new iPhone 8 to his mother.

Like a lot of people, he wanted the tenth anniversary edition iPhone X.

After several bad reviews, several questions are being asked about the iPhone 8 which some publications claim is “full of nasty” surprises.

This year, we’re seeing signals that maybe people aren’t rushing to buy the new iPhone 8. Shares in some suppliers have fallen 10 percent or more since the end of August, particularly after an analyst predicted that pre-orders for the iPhone 8 were “substantially lower” than for previous new models. Customers could be waiting for the X model instead. Or, people could just be ordering online or through the company’s upgrade program. The latest line of products has had so-so reviews.

Facts and more Facts…

Over the past couple days, we’ve heard supply-chain rumors that Apple won’t be able to get an under-screen fingerprint working in time, and that it will face massive supply shortages even if it does.

Fundamentally, Apple is facing two problems: a shortage of supply thanks to the unique components necessary to make a fancy new iPhone; and lower demand for the iPhone 8 than had originally been predicted. Of the two, it’s the second that’s going to be a bigger problem.

Deutsche Bank analysts recently published a report saying that the iPhone 8 will have “disappointing” sales. That might not sound like a big deal, but it’s fighting words leveled against the world’s most valuable company, by a major analyst no less.

“Given most smartphones are now refreshed on a roughly 2.7 year cycle, we think FY-18 should be measured against FY-15,” they continued. “Our installed base estimates suggest Apple could ship about 230M iPhones in FY-18. However, Street expectations are modeling shipments of 244M units, implying an additional 13M iPhones shipments beyond refresh.”

Confirming reports that reception for Apple's newly launched iPhone 8 may be "underwhelming" to put it lightly, as the phone provides little if any material improvement over its lower-priced predecessor even as sales for hardcore fans will be cannibalized by the iPhone X.

Confirming is the following report from Hangzhou, China which shows that all of 2 people were waiting in line for the latest gizmo from Tim Cook.

What happens now…

The problem that Deutsche Bank identified is that compared to the iPhone 6 — the last “super-cycle,” which was driven by a unique combination of events unlikely to happen again — Apple is going to have to improve even more. Missing out on 13 million iPhones might not sound like a big deal relative to sales of 230 million, but when it comes to calculating the share price, the difference is tens of billions of dollars.

The sudden spate of stories about iPhone delays and missing features reeks of “expectation management” by Apple. At about this time last year, a bunch of reports suddenly appeared that confirmed that the iPhone 7 would be ditching the headphone jack.

This is just speculation, but Apple could well be doing the same thing here. The market (and Apple’s share price) is primed for a massive change in hardware and a super-cycle of upgrades. Anything less is going to be a let-down for investors (and fans!) right now.

 [Curated content based on excerpts from posts, blogs, media articles, and sponsored research]
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