Peak smartphone? iPhone X flunks 'supercycle' hopes

A grand for an animated poo emoji, and a NOTCH?


Anyone hoping that the 10th anniversary iPhone hype – including the revolutionary 3D poo emoji – would reinvigorate consumer interest in the product line may be disappointed.

First-month iPhone sales are slower than last year, one analyst surmises, and for good measure the major Chinese Android vendors have cut stock orders by 10 per cent, according to a report in Digitimes.

Some analysts hoped a revamped, 10th anniversary would spur a "super cycle". iPhone owners who had held off upgrading would re-enter the market, many on Wall Street hoped. Top analyst Toni Sacconaghi at Bernstein made his "supercycle" prediction based on the dependability of upgrades – a monotonous 25-27 per cent except for the bumper year of 2015 (36 per cent), and the larger installed base than in previous years.

Richard Windsor of independent research producer Radio Free Mobile says that, based on early data from two months since release, there is no "supercycle". The three new models have closed up 11.3 per cent of the user base, according to Mixpanel data. Last year's iPhone 7 and iPhone 7S had penetrated 23.5 per cent after two months.

"This strongly suggests that the latest generation of devices is not generating the kind of super cycle that the market is looking for," he suggests. "This is a strong indication that uptake by users of the new generation of devices is actually slower than it was for the iPhone 7."

bi iphone 8 headline

In 2016 Apple bifurcated its line and the "old" design now looks tired alongside a highly desirable new design. But that new design is £999*. However, Windsor notes that the demand for the iPhone X is remarkably high considering its price. It's more popular than the 8 Plus. The shift to more expensive models means Apple should still be prosperous – it's extracting more money from its well-heeled user base, which is what every luxury product supplier loves to do. Windsor offers several caveats, but still concludes that many iPhone owners will wait for the new design to be incorporated in lower-priced models.

Not everyone shared Sacconaghi's optimism. Deutsche Bank was one that thought the expectations were brittle.

Digitimes reports that Huawei, and BBK's Opportunity and Vivo, have cut orders by 10 per cent. ®

*Bootnote

*Screen protector not included.

Similar topics


Other stories you might like

  • It's primed and full of fuel, the James Webb Space Telescope is ready to be packed up prior to launch

    Fingers crossed the telescope will finally take to space on 22 December

    Engineers have finished pumping the James Webb Space Telescope with fuel, and are now preparing to carefully place the folded instrument inside the top of a rocket, expected to blast off later this month.

    “Propellant tanks were filled separately with 79.5 [liters] of dinitrogen tetroxide oxidiser and 159 [liters of] hydrazine,” the European Space Agency confirmed on Monday. “Oxidiser improves the burn efficiency of the hydrazine fuel.” The fuelling process took ten days and finished on 3 December.

    All eyes are on the JWST as it enters the last leg of its journey to space; astronomers have been waiting for this moment since development for the world’s largest space telescope began in 1996.

    Continue reading
  • China to upgrade mainstream RISC-V chips every six months

    Home-baked silicon is the way forward

    China is gut punching Moore's Law and the roughly one-year cadence for major chip releases adopted by the Intel, AMD, Nvidia and others.

    The government-backed Chinese Academy of Sciences, which is developing open-source RISC-V performance processor, says it will release major design upgrades every six months. CAS is hoping that the accelerated release of chip designs will build up momentum and support for its open-source project.

    RISC-V is based on an open-source instruction architecture, and is royalty free, meaning companies can adopt designs without paying licensing fees.

    Continue reading
  • The SEC is investigating whistleblower claims that Tesla was reckless as its solar panels go up in smoke

    Tens of thousands of homeowners and hundreds of businesses were at risk, lawsuit claims

    The Securities and Exchange Commission has launched an investigation into whether Tesla failed to tell investors and customers about the fire risks of its faulty solar panels.

    Whistleblower and ex-employee, Steven Henkes, accused the company of flouting safety issues in a complaint with the SEC in 2019. He filed a freedom of information request to regulators and asked to see records relating to the case in September, earlier this year. An SEC official declined to hand over documents, and confirmed its probe into the company is still in progress.

    “We have confirmed with Division of Enforcement staff that the investigation from which you seek records is still active and ongoing," a letter from the SEC said in a reply to Henkes’ request, according to Reuters. Active SEC complaints and investigations are typically confidential. “The SEC does not comment on the existence or nonexistence of a possible investigation,” a spokesperson from the regulatory agency told The Register.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021