Top Apple analyst Kuo slashes Apple iPhone shipment estimates by 20%

Not good news for Apple:

Interesting. Listening to a podcast lately, I am not sure which…, the discussion moved to expected lower numbers of iPhone sold. This was held up as a partial explanation of the dramatic price increases, numbers might go down but revenue need not. Another factor is that so many of the older handsets, the SE, the 6 and 7 are still pretty good and people are holding on to them (me included…).

This is true, and Apple has a history of underestimating in its projections, and not issuing statements when the press Moans and groans. It makes them look better when the $$$$$ come in. But Ming Kuo is usually one of Apple’s biggest defenders who often points this out when shipments look bad, so I hope the $$$$$ don’t turn out bad.

I’m often skeptical of Apple’s iPhone moves, but I have to say with all these “reports” coming in from analysts or “supply chains” I’m very cautious. We heard the exact same thing a year ago about how the X was too expensive and wasn’t selling and that the iPhone had peaked yada yada. And then it turned out the X went off like a bomb and Tim et al. were rolling in money. I’d be very surprised to learn if the XR didn’t do really well and earned Apple a boat load.

OTOH, there are three things that I find have indeed changed. For one, Apple no longer wanting to report sales. Now there’s no doubt that profit is more important to their shareholders than units shipped. But the fact that after rubbing sales numbers in everybody’s faces for years, now wanting to hide them, indicates they know those numbers are going to come down.

The second is merely based on my perception of how people online and offline talk about iPhone. My impression is that these latest ASP hikes have had an effect. People talk much more about how iPhone’s are too expensive for what they deliver. Some argue Apple has lost its innovation mojo and is trying to make up for in price what they lack in novelty, while the other crowd seems to think that Apple is still innovating, but not enough to justify the price hikes. iPhone has never been cheap, but it’s always been perceived as good value compared to all the Android junk. Listening to how iPhone owners (not to mention Android users) talk indicates to me that might be shifting. Of course, that’s all just anecdotal.

And finally, soon everybody on this planet will have a smartphone. Apple can try to convert Android users, but that’s about it. iPhones are quality hardware, they don’t need to be replaced every year. It will be difficult to convince users of a good device to shell out $1k on a new device more often when the level of new features has slowed down simply because smartphones have matured tremendously. The must-do-better list has grown short. And at the same time, devices have become expensive. Maybe people will start upgrading their iPhones like their Macs, after 3-6 years. That’s a situation Apple has never before faced.

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4 posts were merged into an existing topic: Apple Warns of Lower Revenues, Blaming Slower Sales in China