Nothing on but repeats: Recycling iPhone X doom

A 50 percent cut in production, now with more percents.


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It’s mid-February and, as you may have noticed, many of your favorite shows are on a brief hiatus so there’s nothing on but reruns. Apparently even in Apple rumors.

Writing for The Motley Fool, Evan Niu provides “More Evidence That iPhone X Demand Is Underwhelming.” (Tip o’ the antlers to Philip.)

Like we needed any more after the thing. And the other thing.

…Apple’s own fiscal first-quarter earnings release contained clues suggesting as much, the most notable being the fact that Apple reached supply-demand balance for iPhone X in December—just over a month after the $999 flagship phone was released.

This is all very strange to cite as a problem because the Macalope seems to distinctly remember someone saying back in November that what would doom the iPhone X was too much demand, that Apple would have an unsuccessful product launch because people clamoring to get the iPhone X would be angry that they couldn’t get one.

Now… who was that?

Ah, the Macalope has it right here.

[pretends to look at a piece of paper on his desk but is instead eating an entire sleeve of Thin Mints like a snake devouring a mouse]

Yes, it’s… let’s see…

…The Motley Fool’s Evan Niu.


Well, that was then. This is now. And now nobody wants the iPhone X.

[Samsung] had initially been planning on supplying 45 million to 50 million displays for Apple from one of its manufacturing facilities in the first quarter, but this output target has been cut all the way down to 20 million units.

What. Wait. Hold on.

We saw this episode. And it was nonsense the first time. Like Iron Fist.

In late January, Nikkei floated a rumor saying Apple was cutting orders for iPhone X parts from 40 million units to 20 million. At the time, Ryan Jones pointed out how little sense that made since Apple had only sold about 50 million iPhones total in the same quarter the prior two years. Did it seem likely they’d think to sell a mix of phones that was 80 percent iPhone X? No.

Now, you could sell the Macalope a food box service that was 80 percent Thin Mints. In fact, that’s exactly what the local Girl Scouts have done. But that’s completely different.

Mint is a vegetable, by the way.

Anyway, now this rumor is back, new and unimproved with even less sense since we’re now expected to believe the company thought it would sell not 40 million iPhone Xs but 45 or 50 million. Presumably Nikkei will be back in a month saying, “Did you hear Apple cut iPhone X orders from 60 million?! Wow! That’s… uh… that’s a thing that’s conceivable, right?”

Generally speaking, investors shouldn’t put too much weight in these types of supply chain reports.

Do not put too much credence into this report that makes no sense. Good advice.

That being said…

You should totally believe this report that makes no sense because zomg the iPhone X is in big trouble, yo.

Hey, the Macalope doesn’t really know for sure how well the iPhone X is doing. But if you’re going to look at indicators, you should look at all the indicators, including those showing that the iPhone X is boosting Apple share in key markets and has momentum going into this year, instead of just looking at the negative ones.

Unless, you know, you’re doing something other than trying to provide a complete picture.

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