iPhone Sales Dropping As People Shun £1,000 Models
Apple’s four figure mobiles aren’t arresting falling sales of smartphones
When Apple released its first iPhone to break the four figure price barrier – the X with its all-new slim bezel design in late 2017 – the tech world waited with bated breath to see if the market would swallow paying £1,000 for a new handset.
The answer was generally ‘no’ as Apple scaled production down enormously from 40 down to 20 million handsets in the initial production run as demand didn’t come close to what the company was expecting. The X, featuring the first new body for the iPhone since the 6 appeared in 2014, didn’t arrest the general slow down in iPhone sales that has been the case since 2015.
It did, however, help increase Apple’s revenue simply because there were still many sales of what is a premium price product so iPhone sales did actually grow by value.
The new model dilemma
As smartphone tech has increased markedly over recent years, ironically sales are generally tapering off since many users are increasingly skipping yearly upgrades as their present model does all they need of it.
It’s fair to say advances are presently outstripping the average user’s requirements.
This means some people save money by switching from a contract to a SIM only deal since no new phone is required, or some buy phones behind the very latest releases as these often make for a worthwhile upgrade over their existing handset at a price well below what the current model would cost.
Some people save even more by investing in older yet still high class handsets available now for under £100 such as a second hand iPhone 6.
Certain new models don’t always offer a significant upgrade over their predecessors so existing users aren’t always tempted to upgrade.
The iPhone X phones – do they deliver the ‘X Factor?’
The iPhone X was a significant milestone in the evolution of the iPhone. Launched to coincide with the iPhone’s tenth anniversary, it featured an all-new slim bezel body, the largest screen yet seen on an iPhone and – for the first time – AMOLED screen tech that had featured on main rivals such as the Samsung Galaxy since 2015.
Reviewers generally considered it the best iPhone ever produced and certainly more innovative than its cheaper stablemates released just before the X appeared – namely the 8 and 8 Plus featuring the ‘old’ thicker screen bezel body design dating back to 2014.
As said above, it didn’t hit the sales heights Apple was expecting despite the seemingly tempting features and the undisputed fact it was a genuine ‘all new’ design.
Newer X phones
The last round of iPhone releases saw the ‘X’ moniker extended to all iPhones. The original X has been replaced by two models; the 5.8 inch screen XS and the 6.5 inch XS Max.
The standard XS gives you a pound change out of £1,000 while the ‘Max’ variant nudges the price to close on £1,100.
Interestingly, the phone that replaces the 8 and 8 Plus – the XR with its 6.1 inch screen – is expected to be the big seller offering as it does the newer X body design and a large screen for well below four figures starting at £749.
The XR doesn’t feature the AMOLED screen, but the standard LCD display is still considered very capable. With a saving of £250 over the XS many tech reviewers consider it the iPhone that makes the most sense for the majority of buyers in combining the latest body design with powerful tech at a more accessible price.
Will the new X revitalise sales?
It’s worth remembering that, as said earlier, smartphone sales are generally less buoyant than in previous years purely because more people upgrade less frequently, so it may be unrealistic to expect the X range to change things enormously.
That said, the XR could tempt more people to change their phones offering as it does the all-new body design and a jump in screen size from its predecessors the 8 and 8 Plus – and it’s well below four figures to buy.