Panic attack: Scapegoating the iPhone X


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Hey, guess what we’re going to talk about today. Go ahead. You’ll never guess in a million…

Oh. Yep. That’s right. We’re going to talk about what a failure the iPhone X is. Again.

In retrospect, that was pretty easy.

Writing for CNet, Shara Tibken is Just Askin’™.

“For Apple's iPhone X, is it time for 'full panic mode’?” (Tip o’ the antlers to @designheretic.)

It’s the phone that’s so unsuccessful, Apple is rumored to be launching three of them this year. That’s how unsuccessful it is.

The iPhone boom times may be officially over. And Apple may have the iPhone X to thank for that.

Uh, no. The global slowdown in the smartphone industry is not happening because of the iPhone X. If anything the iPhone X was a reaction to it. Apple knew it wasn’t going to see huge growth in units so it decided to figure out how to sell more expensive units.

We’re two sentences in and already the neurons are shutting down like a string of faulty Christmas lights.

But it appears many people aren't quite ready for the future -- or willing to pay so much to get it.

How many iPhone Xs did Apple sell last quarter? We don’t have official numbers but we might be able to guess at it.

Overall, analysts believe Apple sold 54 million iPhones in the March quarter, compared with 50.8 million a year ago. While that's still a gain, it's not the explosive growth many had previously expected.

“Many” hang their toilet paper in the incorrect and, some would say, immoral underhand fashion. That does not make them right. Why would anyone have thought that great swaths of people would run out and buy a $999 device? The Macalope didn’t. If you are an analyst who looked at Apple launching a more expensive phone and thought “This is terrific, millions more people will buy iPhones now” then you are a bad analyst.

If the estimate that 16 percent of the iPhones Apple sold last quarter were iPhone Xs is accurate, that is very, very good. Despite having been portrayed as “almost nobody,” 8.5 million is factually a lot of people. For example, it is many more than 10 people. A lot of folks don’t know that, but it’s math. You can look it up. Since Apple currently offers 8 different kinds of iPhones, 16 percent means the iPhone X is taking more than an even share. Of course, you’d expect it to be selling better than the 2-year-old iPhone SE but, the Macalope doesn’t know if anyone has mentioned this to you or not, it’s still a thousand dollar phone. 8 million is a lot of thousand-dollar phones.

The Macalope tried to do the math to get the revenue on that and something must be broken on his calcumalator app because it came back as 5.3946 X 10 with a little number 10 to the right of the 10. What the heck is that? You answered my math question with another math question! Stupid calcumalator! The Macalope intends to leave a very tersely worded review of you!

As GBH Insights analyst Daniel Ives put it, "the Street has gone into 'full panic mode'" ahead of Apple's March quarter results and June quarter forecast.

Apple's stock has dropped about 8 percent over the past two months.

Ah, the critical “two month” period which is not at all being chosen because two months ago was pretty close to AAPL’s high water mark. April showers are nothing new for Apple’s share price.

Perhaps a bigger concern will be Apple's forecast for the June quarter. Analysts overall expect revenue of $52 billion, up from $45.4 billion a year ago, according to a poll by Yahoo Finance. But some say Apple could fall short of that estimate.

So let’s talk to them and only them.

Worth noting that the low estimate is $49 billion, an increase of 8 percent.

Despite favorable new tax policy, it's more likely Apple's earnings will go down than up this fiscal year and next, noted Bernstein analyst Toni Sacconaghi.

The Bernstein bear. His estimates for 2018 and 2019 are 7 and 8 percent below the consensus, respectively. Apple hasn’t always beaten the estimates on earnings per share, but it has in the last four quarters.

Apple could potentially get back on the right footing. But it may not be because of the iPhone X. 

This iPhone X?

“iPhone X Alone Generated 35% of the Total Handset Industry Profits in Q4 2017.”

Yeah, no help there. Stick a fork in it.

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