Apple is coming off a pretty tough December. After having to admit they are intentionally slowing down their older iPhone handsets, the company took a beating in the press and on social media … a PR roasting that continues in some circles.
iPhone X Sales ‘Disappointing’
Add to that the comparatively calm sales of the new iPhone X and things are not looking great for Apple in the New Year. Apple’s latest handset just isn’t selling like previous models. Blame wireless carrier’s new plans or blame poor marketing or merchandising, but it just doesn’t have the allure of previous models. Maybe it’s a good thing, then, that the company is depending less on its flagship product to drive sales.
As the inventor of the MacBook, iPad, and iPod, the purveyor of iTunes and owner of Beats headphones, Apple has always had a wide array of signature products to market to a public that vacuums them up in droves. But, ever since it hit the market, the iPhone has been the central product on offer.
Until recently, Apple would push very hard for current iPhone owners to pick up the new handset when one came out, quickly phasing out support and updates for previous versions. That has changed. Now, it’s not uncommon to see iPhone fans still carrying 6s and 5s around. Meanwhile, the company released the iPhone 8 very close to the X, giving consumers their choice … a strategy the company has not opted for previously.
Apple Changes Plans
In prior years, Apple’s policy was to limit product releases and keep available products in a certain line limited to only a few choices. To have two different phones at multiple different price points is a bit of a departure.
Another way Apple has increased its product line is with accessories, including the new AirPod wireless headphones as well as the updated Apple Watch. Market experts are not exactly turning backflips over any of these products as they have for Apple products in the past, but that doesn’t mean that, collectively, Apple isn’t still a winner. The brand is clearly still the leader in the mobile hardware brands, and it has managed to hold off strong surges by both established brands and deep-pocketed newcomers.
Does that mean Apple can afford to sell tens of millions fewer units than they expect – which is forecast for the first quarter of 2018? No, regardless of the wider product line, those kinds of misses are not sustainable. Apple will need to find a way to sell all of their products well, while they invent a new way to return the iPhone to its former glory.