The tail-end of 2017 has proved a tumultuous period for hardware giant Apple, whose once-hoped-to-be groundbreaking iPhone X has failed to find significant interest even among the company’s most diehard fans. iPhone releases once drew massive crowds who camped out for hours in the cold for a chance at the latest device, but the X’s release was met with small crowds and little fanfare. Ranging from $999 to $1,149, it may be a simple case of sticker shock that left too many smartphone enthusiasts unwilling to invest. Still, others have pointed to the device’s sometimes confusing or lackluster features as another problem.
The company had since hinged their hopes on the holiday season to generated much needed sales for the iPhone X but as the past few weeks have borne out, demand is only decreasing into 2018. Zhang Bin, an analyst working with Sinolink Securities Co., announced a revision of his estimates for 2018 sales of the device, putting them well below what both Apple and tech enthusiasts predicted. Sinolink put estimates for device shipments in the new year at a low of 35 million which, while small, is still optimistic compared to other estimates. JL Warren Capital LLC, an equity research firm focused on China, placed their estimate at just 25 million. The firm cited reduced orders among several Apple product suppliers.
The relative failure of the iPhone X isn’t the only problem facing the company, either. Only days ago the company faced backlash after it was revealed that Apple was intentionally slowing down older iterations of its devices in a move that many speculated was designed to force users’ hands in upgrading to the latest version. Apple is now facing the first wave of lawsuits for slowing iPhones, with two separate actions filed in California and Illinois. Users had long speculated at the source for the rapid degradation of Apple products, with the ultimate source being a feature that affects how the older devices draw power from their batteries.
What is most alarming is that Apple had remained quiet about the scandal for years until they were forced to address it after investigations by Reddit users and a team from Primate Labs, an app developer. Apple spun the situation as an effort to extend the battery’s overall life, but users remain angry as the feature was unannounced and implemented without consent. Given the technical issues with their older devices, it’s fair to speculate that some users may be reticent to invest in the expensive iPhone X for fear that the company will hinder its functionality when the next generation of Apple phones inevitably hit the market.