The 10th anniversary iPhone X overshadowed every other product announced at Apple’s September 12 event. Its gorgeous edge-to-edge display coupled with cool new features helped it steal the show. A large number of existing iPhone users looking to upgrade would want to buy the iPhone X. The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus are only minor upgrades over the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. An analyst says that many potential iPhone X buyers could switch to Android.
Potential iPhone X buyers may have a long wait ahead
The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus will start shipping on September 22nd. The iPhone X won’t be available until November 3. Even after that, there is no guarantee the 10th-anniversary model will be available in ample quantities to meet the holiday demand. Last year’s Jet Black iPhone 7 Plus was facing supply issues through the holiday season. November 3 is not too far away, but if shipping dates get pushed back to 2018, it could mean trouble for Apple.
A few days ago, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo told investors that Apple’s manufacturing partners were able to produce just 10,000 iPhone X units per day. That’s a ridiculously small number. Unless Apple ramps up production quickly, it might not have enough units to meet the demand. If the anniversary model remains scarce during the holiday period, the iPhone X buyers will begin to find rival devices such as the Galaxy Note 8 and Google Pixel 2 more attractive.
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Toni Sacconaghi, a senior analyst at Bernstein, told CNBC that there would be many other attractive offerings from Samsung, LG, and Google that could lure the iPhone X buyers away. Sacconaghi said the brand loyalty is still high for Apple, but if people who were hoping to get the best new iPhone in September have to wait until 2018, they may lose patience.
Of course, it all depends on how well Apple manages its inventory. The tech giant told CNBC that it had factored in the shipping dates into its forecasts. When the Jet Black iPhone 7 Plus was scarce last year, a survey of more than 2,000 consumers conducted by Elementum showed that 17% participants said they would look for alternatives immediately.
Delayed iPhone X shipments could hurt Apple’s Q4 results
Ovum analyst Daniel Gleeson told CNBC that Apple’s fiscal fourth-quarter results could be substantially lower than expected. The tech giant sells nearly 10-12 million new iPhones during the opening weekend. But this time, the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus are debuting on September 22 while the iPhone X has been delayed until November 3. Since the iPhone X is a much bigger upgrade, a large number of Apple fans may choose to wait until the iPhone X launch rather than buying the iPhone 8 or 8 Plus next week. It would affect Apple’s September quarter results.
Gleeson said the iPhone X would “damage the sales of the iPhone 8.” The September iPhone launch has always been a big event for Apple. The new iPhones have always helped boost the company’s September quarter results. The December quarter revenues could go higher than expected. According to FactSet, Apple’s holiday quarter revenues are expected to reach $86.8 billion, up from $78.4 billion a year ago.
Debate on whether the iPhone X is really worth $1,000
Apple described the iPhone X as a ‘revolutionary’ product that will set ‘the stage for the next decade.’ The phone will be available in black and silver colors. It has a glass back to facilitate inductive wireless charging. The iPhone X sports a bezel-less 5.8-inch Super Retina OLED display. It includes the True Tone technology that adjusts the color balance and brightness to adapt to the surrounding light.
The 10th-anniversary model supports wireless charging based on Qi standard and fast charging technology. It has ditched the home button. The Touch ID fingerprint sensor has been replaced by a new Face ID. Apple claims the Face ID is far more accurate than Touch ID. The iPhone X is powered by a blazing fast A11 Bionic chipset. It includes two 12-megapixel sensors on the back. The iPhone X also supports augmented reality. The device would run iOS 11 right out of the box.
However, it has a price tag of $999 for the 64GB model. If you want the 256GB variant, you’ll have to shell out $1,149. Right now, there is a huge debate going on whether the iPhone X is worth $1,000. Apple’s pricing strategy may also turn off some potential iPhone X buyers, especially when there are pretty good alternatives available in the market.
There are some good alternatives
Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8 has a better display than the iPhone X. The Note 8 has a display resolution of 2960 x 1440 with a pixel density of 522ppi compared to the iPhone X’s 2436 x 1135 resolution and 458ppi pixel density. Samsung’s flagship also supports wireless charging, Samsung Gear VR and Google Daydream VR, facial recognition, and iris scanning. The Note 8 also has a dual camera system on the back with OIS, an S Pen stylus, and expandable storage.
Of course, the Galaxy Note 8 is only slightly cheaper than iPhone X at $930. Buyers have other options as well such as the new LG V30 and the upcoming Google Pixel 2.