Re-failing: The iPhone X fails and fails again


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Common sense has disproved previous supply chain rumors about what a disappointment the iPhone X has been. So let us now move on to new supply chain rumors about what a disappointment the iPhone X has been.

Writing for the Forbes contributor network and all restaurant food-sourced human hair wig factory, Ewan Spence sticks to his guns. His empty, empty guns.

“Apple's Uncertain Future After Misjudged iPhone X Failure.” (Tip o’ the antlers to Walt.)

Not only has the iPhone X been a failure, but Apple misjudged the failure. Wait, does that mean it was a success?

As more information comes to light, it is becoming clear that Apple has spectacularly over-estimated the public demand for its iPhone X.

The foot-stomping insistence that Apple thought it would sell twice as many or even more iPhone Xs will continue until pundits get an extra scoop of ice cream after dinner!

As Forbes’ Chuck Jones points out, the historical data suggests that the iPhone X was always on course to reach the twenty million mark in Q1 that is now accepted as the current target.

This is, of course, exactly what the Macalope said back in February when responding to one… uh, let’s see here… Ewan Spence. Huh. He still can’t quite bring himself to get on board with the analysis of Chuck Jones and Ryan Jones, who are not brothers so far as the Macalope knows, other than brothers in reality-based thinking.

To summarize, though, it was rumored that Apple was cutting iPhone X part orders from 40 (or 45 or 50 as some claimed) million to 20 million based on softer than expected demand. Now, Apple sold about 50 million iPhones in the first calendar quarters of 2016 and 2017. It makes no sense that they’d think they’d sell 40 million units or more of the iPhone X alone in the same quarter of 2018.

The latest pointer comes via the supplier of the custom screen for the iPhone X, reports Bryan Harris for the FT:

”But sluggish sales of the Apple device have left Samsung swimming in overcapacity, analysts say. The Seoul-headquartered group is now expected to ‘substantially’ cut capacity investment in the leading-edge technology…”

So, we’re just believing rumors about Apple that are being spread by Samsung. OK. That’s… sure. Yep. I mean, hey, why not at this point? (Yes, the Macalope knows how chaebol work, so it’s not the same organization that makes and sells smartphones but still.)

The question of how many iPhone X orders Apple planned for in Q1 2018 remains vexed, and one that will likely never have a definitive answer.

Nobody knows what the answer is! We just know it was freaking huge and had to be cut way back and Apple screwed up big time and nobody likes the iPhone X. That we know for sure. Because that much seems clear when we ignore any contrary information about how well the iPhone X is doing or what Apple knows about its own business.

The heart knows what it wants. One cannot ignore the exhortations of the soul. When Apple doom comes a-knockin’, all we can do is open the door.

This is why I personally struggle with the idea that the ’40 million orders’ is wide of the mark’. I cannot honestly see why Tim Cook and Apple would have planned to continue the downwards sales trend and settle for 20 million orders.

Because they’d still make more profit by adding the iPhone X to the mix? Because shipping ever more units at the expense of revenue and profit isn’t a good alternative? High-end market saturation is not just a river in Egypt, Ewan. In fact, it’s not a river anywhere. The Macalope checked.

No company would decide it wants to sell less units than the year before.

Yes, you should always throw out any and all defining characteristics of your products and/or competitive advantages in order to maximize units shipped and only units shipped. That’s Business 101. Well, at the bad schools, anyway.

Apple managed to have a record revenue and profit quarter at the end of 2017 while shipping fewer iPhones. But no one would decide to do that. Other than smart companies.

No company would prepare its supply chain to expect far more orders than it would eventually request.

Yeah! Right! That’s why none of this makes any sense! But instead of deciding there’s something wrong with the rumor, Spence continues to insist it must be Apple’s fault.

…the plan to increase sales in 2018 with the iPhone X has failed.

Oh, crap, is it December already? The Macalope hasn’t even started gift shopping!

Spence seems very clear on what Apple’s plans must have been and somehow they’ve all gone amazingly wrong. Because rumors from Apple’s supply chain can never fail, they can only be failed.

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