back to article 29 MEEELLION iPhone Xs flogged... only to be end-of-life'd by summer?

Apple globally shipped 29 million units of the eye-wateringly expensive iPhone X in the two months after it was launched in late 2017, falling short of consensus estimates from analysts. Sales of the $999 handset – priced at £999 in Britain – were expected to reach 30 million, said Ben Stanton, analyst at Canalys, which …

  1. ravenviz

    They better accelerate their plan for slowing down older models still in production then.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Interestingly, the headline says SOLD, but the first sentence mentions SHIPPED.

      Two very different things, given Apple's tendency to build hype by initially starving the supply chain to create fake initial demand (to boost sales) and flooding he supply chain to fake numbers for keep earnings reports looking healthy.

      There is ALOT of unsold inventory, and production lines in the 3 contract manufacturers are already mothballed.

  2. Zippy's Sausage Factory

    I know someone who has an iPhone X.

    It can be safely said that most poeple's reaction to this information is "well, he would do, wouldn't he?"

    I think that safely encapsulates the actual USP of the iPhone X - the "I Must Have The Latest And Greatest Apple Product" brigade.

    1. macjules Silver badge

      I know someone who has an iPhone X.

      Would his name be Alistair Dabbs by any chance?

    2. JimboSmith Silver badge

      I met some potential clients who both had X's and had obviously bought them because of the high price tag. That and they virtually told me how much they cost and how it wasn't actually that expensive for a phone.

      1. DeeCee

        i would have gotten it(X) if it had fingerprint, face thing would be too much of a pita to use, got 8+ but damn the thing is huge for the small(by todays standards) screen it has

  3. Warm Braw Silver badge

    Apple's ... strategy is typically fully baked at least 18 months in advance

    Pity, at least this time around, it turned out to be half-baked on delivery...

    1. macjules Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Apple's ... strategy is typically fully baked at least 18 months in advance

      .. or went stale too early.

  4. Lysenko

    Marketing genius.

    Credit where credit is due. No-one else could openly associate a smiling turd with a stratospherically expensive new toy (as they did) and turn in something approximating a sales success.

    Every other marketing department on Earth would grossly overestimate the discernment and attention span of the target victims customers and recoil in horror at the obvious brand damage, but our friends in Cupertino know better. As with Burberry check caps, "divers" watches the size of sundials and Kardashian reality TV shows, they have a finger on the real pulse of society.

    1. Semtex451 Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Marketing genius.

      So sad but so true. I feel a breakaway online republic coming on, one that rejects this idiocracy based version of society

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: Marketing genius.

        > So sad but so true. I feel a breakaway online republic coming on, one that rejects this idiocracy based version of society

        You've given me a great idea for a TV show. Technocrat Island, or Nerd Tribe or Misanthrope Colony or whatnot. Not a show I would watch, well not unless it all goes Lord of Flies, but one that will make money. Pro tip to contestants: your survival more likely if you can enthuse others to the merits of not thumping you.

        That's the trouble with Internet tribes and flame wars - not enough real sticks, real stones and real flames.

    2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Marketing genius.

      TBH sales of Samsung's S6 did show how much the market prefers the premium model with "something special". Samsung underestimated demand for the Edge version and had to adjust production accordingly.

      It's early days for Apple yet but 30 million at around $ 600 profit per phone is worth having.

      Not sure how to interpret the speculation that the X will be canned. It could be that everyone who wants, and can afford one, has one. But it could also be that they will squeeze the components back into a more standard format later in the year and it's really just the "notch" that gets the chop. OLED, wireless charging, waterproofing and everything else Apple copied from Samsung are here to stay.

      1. death&taxes

        Re: Marketing genius.

        "$600 profit per phone"

        Naive nonsense.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Marketing genius.

          Naive nonsense.

          Really? I'll back Mr Clark on this one (and IHS and Techinsight tear down analysis do as well. Apple's gross profit margin if they sell an iPhone X for a grand is $630 a pop. Go look it up, its all public domain, and if there's any doubt, it would be that Apple can get the components and assembly even cheaper than the market analysts' estimate.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Marketing genius.

          "Naive nonsense" indeed. Probably nearer $800

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Marketing genius.

          Sorry, it's absolutely true. And the more money they mug from brain-dead hipsters, the more spare cash they have to keep the press sweet and to fund all sorts of security expert "research" about Android. It's a perfect situation for apple to be in, and you can pretty much it all play out

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Marketing genius.

      I think you will find it's an ANIMATED turd, which as you will know was a headline feature exclusive to iPhone

  5. Chris G Silver badge

    Never mind Apple

    Perhaps a better selling phone is just around the corner.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Never mind Apple

      Perhaps the next one will actually have the intended features, not the emergency bodged in Face Unlock....

  6. DougS Silver badge

    I always thought the X would be one and done

    Next year's 5.8" OLED model that follows the X won't be $999, I think it is more likely to be $899 or perhaps $849 (because they won't need to price it high to limit demand to match supply and won't have yield problems on the sensors driving up the cost) That means they'd have to cut too much off the price of the X to keep it around as "last year's model". Besides, they have SO many models now and are adding another one (a 6.2" LCD version as the cheaper option below the 5.8" OLED and 6.5" OLED) so keeping the X around is just too much.

    1. Naselus

      Re: I always thought the X would be one and done

      "because they won't need to price it high to limit demand to match supply"

      Sure, that's definitely why Apple priced it at a grand a phone. Because they're always so anxious to ensure that they don't create demand that they can't satisfy.

      And as for the next one being $100 cheaper... not a chance in hell, Apple will continue to see if they can just keep increasing the price by $100 a year until it starts seriously hurting the bottom line, and then hold it there.

      1. DougS Silver badge

        Re: I always thought the X would be one and done

        Sure, that's definitely why Apple priced it at a grand a phone. Because they're always so anxious to ensure that they don't create demand that they can't satisfy.

        I wasn't suggesting they had altruistic motives, but if you KNOW you supply is going to be limited you have two choices to handle it. One, have waiting periods of months to get one. Two, set the price higher so demand reduced to match supply.

        The second one is a problem for when the supply becomes less limited - then you sell fewer of them so you may or may not end up actually making more money that way. But almost all of those who were put off by the high price of the X either bought a cheaper iPhone or decided to wait until next year.

    2. ThomH

      Re: I always thought the X would be one and done

      I think whether this year's X replacement is priced the same or not will depend on whether the higher price has proven more profitable. A consolidation is likely though, if not a complete flush of the product line supposing they port the X's form factor to an LCD handset for the new mid-tier, sweeping away the 6s, 7 and 8.

      A full[-ish]-face SE-sized handset at the 'low' end would be a very appealing device for me. Maybe next year? My 6s is still fine until then.

  7. djstardust

    I know

    Four iphone X owners

    Two are Fashionistas (hipsters) who have oiled beards and drink Brewdog

    The other two are Apple fanboys extraordinaire.

    They look at my vastly superior (and cheaper) Galaxy Note 8 like it's a piece of shit.

    Enough said.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I know

      They don't bother me. They do me no harm. And very occasionally there is the childish joy of telling someone "Yes it is a very nice [expensive Mac] but unfortunately the application you are trying to install won't work on it. You will have to buy Windows. Yes I know you bought the Mac because your friends told you Windows is inferior. That's just how it is."

      What does bother me is the ones who try to persuade their elderly relatives that they need whatever is the most expensive current iPhone in order to make a few phone calls and send a few text messages. Literally just that. Frankly, I think Dorophone could make money with a flip phone with a simple ASCII keyboard which would meet their needs better.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I know

      Indeed, a non XL Pixel2 is also better in pretty much every regard, and half the price.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I know

        Indeed, a non XL Pixel2 is also better in pretty much every regard, and half the price.

        And for just over a quarter of the price of the Pixel 2, I've got an excellent Xiaomi device, with better battery life. In terms of specification they are embarrassingly close, with the main claim to fame of the Pixel being a better (but lower resolution) camera, and a higher res screen. Since I don't notice ANYTHING that makes me think "I wish that I'd spent more", I'm well pleased. Years ago, if you could, buying the premium handset was indeed the sensible choice. With the compression of capabilities over time, the lower cost handsets have made the performance gap far less.

        Which leads me to the question: When did we become so rich that splunking even £500 on a phone for virtually no benefit over something far, far cheaper became sensible? Fair enough for cash millionaires. But for the rest of society, it implies people really don't know what else to spend £500-1,000 on. Or they put immense value on the "prestige" of Google's brand, or on having that latest shiney.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I know

          The OLED screen with its ambient display, and amazing camera is worth slot of that extra, the totally stock Android, with absolutely zero bloatware and monthly updates is worth the rest.

        2. ADJ

          Re: I know

          Since about the same time people can't save up for a deposit in a house but can buy a £800, £6 for 2/3 pint beer and a £9 pulled pork sandwich.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: I know

            Don't forget £10 or more for 60 ml of beard oil.

            Maybe the government could issue a £1bn contract to Crapita for mobile shaving units to patrol the streets, seizing anybody with a (facial) beard and forcibly giving them a good clean shave before throwing them into the gutter. And that'd catch religious fundamentalists, c**ts like Jeremy Corbyn, Richard Branson as well as hipsters. What's not to like?

            1. DeeCee

              Re: I know

              sounds like something that happened in empire of evil(aka soviet union) to people with wrong haircuts in 70ies

              1. stephanh

                Re: I know

                @DeeCee

                "sounds like something that happened in empire of evil(aka soviet union) to people with wrong haircuts in 70ies"

                No no, it would only be done to people with haircuts *I* don't like.

                So quite different, really.

        3. the Jim bloke Silver badge

          Re: I know

          "Which leads me to the question: When did we become so rich that splunking even £500 on a phone for virtually no benefit over something far, far cheaper became sensible?"

          Since microsoft poisoned the well with 8 and 10, so spending money on a new PC is something to be avoided..

    3. Hans 1 Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: I know

      Look at those, hipsters, Apple fanboys extraordinaire ...

      Why does djstardust write that ? because they bought a phone for $999, forgetting that his own phone cost $750 ...

      As for the vastly superior phone, well, I beg to differ ... it runs Android, 0wned. Way too expensive, for cheap Android.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I know

        Why are you "0wned" for running Android? That's absurd. There is a very clear privacy policy on offer, and it's no different to what Apple do.. No different in any single way. Anyone that says otherwise is basically talking out their arse.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    £999...

    I feel quite happy with my choice, my S4 finally gave up the ghost so I got a wileyfox swift 2 for £150 for my sim only cheap as chips contract and it runs CM which is what I was using on the S4, I even got the January security updates yesterday. A quick look round the old web and it looks like even when it stops being officially supported I'll still be able to get roms for it. It does everything I need and it even has fingerprint sensor which before I'd used one didn't realise how useful they are for quickly unlocking the phone. Why someone would spend an Apple amount of money on what is essentially future landfill is beyond my comprehension, even if I won the lottery I still wouldn't buy one. Each to their own I guess.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I've dealt with two wileyfox phones now. Iv'e gone back to Motorola. You can get decent cases for one thing. G5 is great!

  9. Bill M

    iPhone XXX

    Will the iPhone XXX have better porn related functionality ?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: iPhone XXX

      No but the price will f*ck you.

      1. Korev Silver badge
        Coffee/keyboard

        Re: iPhone XXX

        Well done AC —>

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: iPhone XXX

      The iPhone XXXX, planned for release in 2047 (#) is expected to do well down under, because Australians won't give a XXXX for anything else.

      (#) Unless it doesn't come out on the iPhone's fortieth anniversary, but that would never happen unless Apple did something inconsistent with their numbering, like releasing the iPhone 8 and 10/X at the same time and not bothering with a 9.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: iPhone XXX

      No but will include Vin Diesel as the voice of Siri

  10. Picky
    WTF?

    £999 ? spend less than £50

    Anyone for a Samsung Galaxy III Mini?

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: £999 ? spend less than £50

      I've got on well with a 45 quid 4G Android, budget price makes you overlook its compromises, though to be fair it did the essentials (calls, maps, Chrome, WhatsApp) without fuss. It was also lovely to just not care if it fell on concrete.

  11. applebyJedi

    Ultimate Play The Game

    I remember when games for the ZX Spectrum were all £5.00, then came Ultimate, who in fairness to them, produced some of the most fantastic games the spectrum every saw, but, they upped the price to £10.00 instead of the customary £5.00. Ok, everybody thought, they deserve more because the games are so much better, but low and behold, once other games manufacturers cottoned onto the fact people were prepared to pay £10.00, they all followed suit, no matter how rubbish the game.

    Forward 35 years and here we are with a £1,000 phone. I hope that others don't follow suit, but somehow I doubt it.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Ultimate Play The Game

      So you waited until it came out on Firebird or Mastertronic...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Ultimate Play The Game

        "So you waited until it came out on Firebird or Mastertronic..."

        As far as I'm aware, the budget software (£1.99 / £2.99) market in the sense that most people know it didn't really exist circa 1982/83 when Ultimate rose to prominence.

        Even though a lot of budget releases were reissues of more obscure games from the earliest days (c. 1984 on)- alongside a high proportion of original material- I don't think people during Ultimate's heyday (1982-85?) would have necessarily expected that their higher-quality games would have been later reissued at budget prices.

        The "big quality, big name" reissues were- IIRC- more associated with the later 80s. (#) Ironically, it seems that US Gold's motivation for buying out the Ultimate name and catalogue in the mid 80s- which was later bought back by the owners- was purely so they could reissue the back catalogue at budget prices.

        (#) When such reissues became increasingly dominant and (from what I've heard) made it harder for original material to compete with them. It's notable that original budget software was- IIRC- much rarer on the 16-bit formats (not to mention generally much more expensive), and that as the market switched over to them in the late 80s, releases for them were almost entirely reissues (presumably the higher development costs of original material that could compete with the reissues in quality terms would have been prohibitive, which is why- along with the higher prices- the true "budget" market essentially died with the 8-bit formats).

    2. RyokuMas Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: Ultimate Play The Game

      "Forward 35 years and here we are with a £1,000 phone"

      ... and the vast majority of people unwilling to pay even a single penny for the games that run on it, alas.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ultimate Play The Game

      "Forward 35 years and here we are with a £1,000 phone. I hope that others don't follow suit, but somehow I doubt it."

      If that happens, I'll only be contactable by landline.

  12. Mark 85 Silver badge
    Coat

    Meh... I'm a bit of a curmudgeon about cell phones. I don't do texting, Google, apps, etc. Just voice phone calls as needed. So my Samsung SGH-A847 is cheap enough, battery gets charged once a week or so and no headaches. On top of that, I'm not stuck paying nearly a grand for a cell phone.

    It may not be what all the cool kids have, but it works for me and I'm not running around all day with a cell phone in my hand like too many other people I know.

    Do I need to turn in my IT membership card and go hide in darkest part of the woods?

    Icon: I think the phone is in my coat pocket... now where did I leave my coat?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You don't need to turn in the IT card, but you do get a "Largely immune to must have new shiny phone hysteria" card as well as a bonus "Immunity to Apple Reality Distortion Field" card.

      Sent from my desktop as my K800i doesn't do the internet...

      1. gurugeorge

        I had a k800

        In 2005. It's now 13 years later. My Nokia e61 back then "did internet" - I used it for gps navigation across Europe with a £10 Bluetooth gps unit - it had 3G and dual cameras for video calls with skype for symbian. That was 2005 - you're nuts to protest for 13 years!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I had a k800

          Who's protesting? I've owned iPhones and Androids but have always returned to my trusty K800i. Don't use faceache, twatter or that rubbish. I don't internet while out and about. Battery lasts an age. I don't need any more than what the phone offers. I'll run it right into the ground and 6ft under before I get a new one and even then it'll be a second hand dumbphone. Waste not want not and all that. For me, it's all I need.

    2. Dave Hilling

      Nah your good, If it weren't for a few games and a couple convenience apps I barely use my phone to its potential. I was on an S4 until I went to my S7 edge, my phone company is harassing me to upgrade and I am still here going eh this one works fine, but my lease is almost up so maybe Ill look at the LG V30, but honestly, I am not in a hurry.

    3. Jamie Jones Silver badge

      What about my IT membership card? My mobile is a nokia symbian phone!

      Long life battery, keyboard that works in the rain, and without you needing to look at it, and only a few seconds to power up.

      I own loads of Android devices - I'm typing this on one now - but as a phone? no way!

  13. chivo243 Silver badge
    Headmaster

    Wow, just wow

    Gee, this party had to end sometime... and this one's cover price was just a bit to high for most working stiffs

  14. SullyTech

    I'll be the first in this thread to admit it...

    ...and probably get slated in the process, but I happen to own an iPhone X. As a person who, like many of you, works in a role that requires a level of familiarity with bleeding edge tech, I saw this purchase as an act of research more than anything else. (At least that's how I justify it to myself)

    Is this phone worth £1000? Absolutely not. Not from a technological or manufacturing standpoint in any way whatsoever does it merit its price tag. Does it do everything its states it can do? Yes it does and it does it well. As a pure exercise in seeing if they could execute a quality handset in this form-factor, Apple have succeeded there. As a pure exercise in seeing whether Apple could get a shower of dumbasses (myself included clearly) to pay a grand for a phone, well they've clearly succeeded there as well. About 29 million times over.

    Using the alleged "superiority" of a handset like the Galaxy Note 8 as a reason why people who buy the iPhone X are idiots is an idiotic statement in itself because lets face it, Note 8 buyers themselves are still paying £869 (handset price from Samsung direct) for a phone that will still smash to bits just like an iPhone if you chuck it on the floor. As for superiority, which is an entirely subjective thing within this context, it's a claim that cannot be verified as it will always come down to the right tool for the job. Some people prefer one or the other usually and their buying preferences will be dictated by that.

    It should be noted that I upgraded to the iPhone from a Galaxy S7 Edge, I have no preference over the OS. Although the build quality on the Edge was a steaming pile of sh*t. Pretty much just like every other Samsung product I've owned.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I'll be the first in this thread to admit it...

      "Pretty much just like every other Samsung product I've owned."

      We've got a Samsung Fridge/Freezer and an old CRT Samsung TV which are still going strong many years after we bought them. The landfill (sub £50) PAYG samsung phones seem to last pretty well too. I've never bought a top end Samsung phone though...

  15. ecofeco Silver badge

    First adopters

    I learned a long time ago to never be the first adopter.

  16. Inspector71
    Facepalm

    Round and round we go

    Sigh...here we go again.

    Fanboi, brainless sheep, reality distortion field, hipsters, blinded by the shiny, £1000 for a phone!!!!

    Give it a rest, Mr Internet.

    I am looking at my backup phone one of which I had new when it was released. Nokia 8110. It was an unbelieveable £200 in 1996. £200 for a phone!!!! Hipster (or the 1996 equivalent), brainless, ..........

    Plus ca change....

    So not just Cupertino.

  17. This post has been deleted by its author

  18. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

    ...so the factory will "end of life" the premium handset instead of retaining it as a lower-cost option – as Apple always has done – when the next generation of the X arrives in the autumn.

    So not EOL then. Just updated with no continuation of the older model. Clickbait.

  19. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

    I'd expect a lot more for £1000.

    It should convert to a full-fledged desktop-type computer, once hooked up to a display and paired with a keyboard and mouse. Including a full windowing system. The specifications are miles ahead of computers that could do that 15-20 years ago. Miles!

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