While speculative reports regarding iPhone sales are a dime a dozen these days, it’s getting increasingly hard to ignore the growing chorus of reports claiming that the iPhone X isn’t exactly flying off store shelves. With Apple set to report its earnings for the March quarter next week, we’ve seen a number of analysts recently claim that iPhone X sales have been underwhelming. Even more telling is that recent revenue forecasts from a number of key iPhone suppliers have been lower than expected.
In light of that, even Samsung is now indicating that iPhone X sales have been weak. As part of its recent earnings report (via Bloomberg), the South Korean-based company said that revenue from its display unit was “affected by slow demand for flexible OLED panels.”
While Apple prefers to rely upon multiple suppliers for many iPhone components, the iPhone X’s flexible OLED display is sourced exclusively from Samsung. In turn, if Samsung is claiming that they’ve seen slower than anticipated demand for said displays, it stands to reason that iPhone X sales may truly be as tepid as analysts have been claiming.
That notwithstanding, Apple’s bottom line might not be impacted too much given that the iPhone X’s high ASP might slightly offset any surprising drop-off in cumulative device sales.
Revenue aside, it will be interesting to see what Tim Cook and co. have to say about the iPhone X during the company’s upcoming earnings conference call. Notably, Cook during the last call boasted that the iPhone X was the single best-selling iPhone model every single week since its release. Whether or not Cook mentions something similar next week should be particularly telling.
Still, there’s certainly no reason for Apple to panic just yet. For starters, customer satisfaction for the iPhone X is through the roof, with 97% of owners — according to a recent survey from Tech.pinions — indicating that they are satisfied with the device. Moreover, Ben Bajarin added that the 97% figure is “amongst the highest I’ve seen in all the customer satisfaction [studies] we have conducted across a range of technology products.”
So what, exactly, is going on with the iPhone X?
More than likely, customers were simply unwilling to splurge on a $1,000 iPhone in the absence of the beloved carrier subsidies of old. Apple’s 2018 iPhone lineup, however, should address that concern. As you’ve likely heard by now, Apple’s forthcoming iPhone lineup will include three new devices, including a 6.1-inch iPhone with an edgeless LCD display that may be priced as low as $550.
All told, it appears that the first iteration of the iPhone X did not usher in a monster refresh cycle as many anticipated.