Apple Loop: New iPhone X Price Leaks, Cook Faces Security – Forbes
Taking a look back at another week of news from Cupertino, this week’s Apple Loop includes higher iPhone prices, has Apple hit the glass iPhone ceiling, missing iPhone sales, a new way to unlock secure iPhones, the death of the LP in iTunes, and more vertical video from Netflix.
Apple Loop is here to remind you of a few of the very many discussions that have happened around Apple over the last seven days (and you can read my weekly digest of Android news here on Forbes).
iPhone Prices Set To Rise
Apple’s 2018 handset plans are becoming clearer, and the two key words seem to be ‘size’ and ‘price’. As Apple CEO Tim Cook pushes ahead with plans to introduce OLED technology to more handsets and increase the screen size. Which is going to increase the price of this year’s iPhones:
All of which means that Apple’s plans to double down on size and OLED screens for the 2018 iPhone models will keep the prices very high. The top-line iPhone X Plus with a 6.5 inch OLED screen could have an entry-level price of $1400.
While some rumors have claimed the second generation iPhone X would drop in price to accommodate a larger iPhone X Plus, Kuo says this is not true. He claims the second gen iPhone X will again start at $1,000, the iPhone X Plus will be priced higher (likely $1,200-$1,350) while the once-cheap iPhone SE will see its iPhone X-inspired successor come in at more than an iPhone 8 starting from $700-$800.
Has Apple Priced Itself Out Of The Market?
The current iPhone portfolio already shows signs of the iPhone reaching a pricing ceiling, as customer feedback shows that the $1000 price is a barrier to entry. The cost is high, the 2018 models will be even more expensive, and there are signs that consumers have reached their limits. Forbes’ Gordon Kelly reports:
Consequently, Apple’s discovery that many customers are starting to think twice about paying over $1,000 for the iPhone X couldn’t come at a worse time. Apple is already locked into the next cycle with iPhone X Plus production tests already underway, it has an unbending supply chain partner for the model’s most expensive component and the iPhone X Plus is going to cost more than any iPhone in history just as customers start to say ‘Enough is Enough’.
The Disappearing Super Cycle Of iPhone Sales
The discussion over Apple’s iPhone sales in the first quarter of 2018, along with the plans for the 2018 handsets, continues to shine a light over Tim Cook’s decisions as Apple CEO. A root question is ‘how many iPhone handsets Apple planned to manufacture in the first quarter of the year?’. Was it the 40 million ’super cycle’ that the supply chain was led to understood, or the current 20 million target that would see fewer iPhones sold year on year? I discussed this earlier in the week.
No company would decide it wants to sell less units than the year before. Apple launched three new handsets in 2017 instead of the two-handset approach it has taken since the iPhone 6. The iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus were going to carry on the regular upgrade path, while the iPhone X with its new technology and features new to the iOS platform would accelerate sales to higher levels – just as the introduction of the new technology and larger screen in Apple’s first phablet did so in 2015 with the iPhone 6 Plus.
No company would prepare its supply chain to expect far more orders than it would eventually request. To specifically take the case of the OLED screen for the iPhone X which is manufactured by Samsung Display, that capacity is going to have to be used by someone. Apple has handed the market a glut of OLED screens, and you can assume that mid- and high-end Android device are going to see more vibrant and colourful OLED displays throughout 2018.