The popularity paradox: iPhones are too loved

macalope
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To paraphrase Yogi Berra, “iPhones? No one buys those anymore. Too popular.”

Writing for CNBC, Thomas Franck found contrarian guy! Good job, Thomas.

He was probably sending out press releases trying to get into the news but… still.

“Analyst downgrades Apple to sell because popularity of iPhone X means fewer phone upgrades next year.” (Tip o’ the antlers to Walt.)

The iPhone X is so popular that it just might wind up hurting Apple down the road.

The iPhone is a magical construct. It is at once so unpopular that Android is going to overrun it and force all developers to cease shipping apps for it, and at the same time so popular no one will buy one ever again. You could call it Schrödinger’s phone if in the original thought experiment the two states of the cat were two different kinds of dead.

It has been so successful that more and more iPhone users are upgrading early, eating into demand for future generations, according to New Street Research.

Once you have an iPhone, you will never buy another iPhone again. Why would you?! You already have an iPhone! Think, Madeline!

iPhones exist in a binary state, either on or off. If iPhone, then iPhone!

Of course, the smartphone market is reaching saturation. This is a problem for all vendors, not just Apple. Which makes it hilarious when the various Android OEMs manage to steal share from each other, increasing the fortunes of one over the other, and pundits cycle through the rise of Samsung, Xiaomi and Huawei predicting each will doom… Apple.

The vacuum in sales will be so great that investors should sell the stock, analyst Pierre Ferragu said in a note Monday.

So New Street Research clients can buy it more cheaply.

“We expect a material disappointment in 2019,” Ferragu said.

You and The Macalope both, buddy.

Oh, you’re talking about Apple. The Macalope just means… things.

Shares of Apple fell 0.8 percent on Monday.

From a crazy high to a still crazy high.

New Research’s price target of $165 represents roughly 25 percent downside from Friday’s close at $217.58.

Wow. That is… uh, substantial! OK. Duly noted. In the big book marked “Crazy Predictions.”

Hey, Wall Street has never understood Apple, really, so the horny one supposes this is possible even if Apple does fine next year. When a stock’s price is largely governed by groupthink and attempted manipulation, it’s hard to say exactly what’s going to happen.

“This may sound insane…”

…but the eels that come out of the spigot every time I take a bath whisper their sweet secrets to me and that’s how I know who should live and who should die!

…but fits our thesis: iPhone shipments are on a multiple-year decline trend, as refresh cycles elongate, and 2018 was a bump in the trend, as 2016 was.”

Also 2014. And 2012. And, uh, well. Yes.

You can’t refute predictions like this. You can only maintain eye contact and slowwwly back toward the door.

  
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