Bear it in mind: Rumors of the iPhone X failure failed


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The Macalope has written a lot about iPhone X sales in the first four months of this year. Based on the company’s quarterly results we can see that many were wrong about iPhone X sales, but who among them were the wrongerest?

Witness now the unbearable wrongness of being an Apple bear this cycle.

Remember this one? Just late last month Quartz’s David Gershgorn was telling us that “Almost nobody wants the iPhone X.”

This would be the iPhone X that Strategy Analytics senior analyst Juha Winter has since declared “the world's most popular smartphone model overall, due to a blend of good design, sophisticated camera, extensive apps, and widespread retail presence for the device.”

Ugh, who would want that? That sounds gross. It’s no wonder almost no one bought one. Except for enough people to make it the world’s most popular smart phone. And how many people can that be? Well, Strategy Analytics’ sales estimate for the iPhone X for the quarter was 16 million units, which, when you multiply it by even just the base price of $999, gets you well into scientific notation territory.

Around the same time, Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty was so down on the iPhone X that she revised down her estimate of iPhone sales for Apple’s third fiscal quarter from 40.5 million to just 34 million based on “soft chip demand,” which is not what happens at Chevy’s when a server spills a pitcher of margarita into the tortilla chip bin.

It will be really interesting to see if Huberty is on the mark since Apple has posted guidance for third quarter revenue between $6 and $9 billion higher than the same quarter last year when it sold 41 million iPhones. Maybe they’re bringing iPod Socks back and that’s where all the revenue will come from. Possible. People did love their iPod Socks, there’s no denying it. There’s literally no better way to keep your iPod warm.

It was almost mind-boggling how many people took reports of cuts in iPhone X part orders at face value and ran with “iPHONE X FAILURE” titles like, oh, “Apple's Uncertain Future After Misjudged iPhone X Failure.” Ewan Spence of the Forbes contributor network and Spin Doctors cover band training academy seemed to be patient zero for this, promulgating it repeatedly and suggesting the iPhone customers were switching to Android because of iOS bugs, battery problems and other ill tempers of the body.

Apple had a very solid quarter and signaled that it intends to have another one this quarter. But in the punditry business, there’s no cost for being wrong all the time.

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