back to article X marks the Notch, where smartmobe supercycles go to die

Apple's £999 flagship iPhone X is being outsold by three-year-old models – providing further evidence that the 10th anniversary upgrade "supercycle" never happened. CIRP, a Chicago-based equities analyst specialising in providing early sales figures that have proved accurate before, has found the share of iPhone sales …

  1. JDX Gold badge

    So the top-tier, super-premium, extremely expensive model isn' the most popular... surely that's exactly what you'd expect. I bet they sell more mid-spec MacBooks than fully-loaded MacBook Pros too.

    How do I get a job as an analyst, it seems an undemanding role?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Previously people would buy the latest model iPhone in preference over the older cheaper ones. The analyst is pointing out that iPhone sales have at last started to become normal and people no longer will pay twice as much for the latest model that "isn't twice as good".

    2. David Kelly 2

      Ditto. If Apple *didn't* offer a high priced lower volume iPhone then Apple would not be doing what is best for investors. One has to explore the upper price ranges to know where the upper price range is.

      No rational person would fault Apple for the $799 version of Apple Watch not being the best seller. Its good the X is out there exploring new territory but its not The End Of Apple now that Apple has finally found the high end (and beyond) of what the market will bear.

      1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        If Apple *didn't* offer a high priced lower volume iPhone then Apple would not be doing what is best for investors.

        This is the kind of retrosprective argument that SuccesCase uses. In fact while Apple does carefully follow an asipirational strategy: one device that everyone aspires to but only a few can afford; and one that isn't quite as good but everyone can afford. They deviated from it this year with both the 8 and X. This has complicated the market, making it difficult for customers to choose and, hence, higher sales of the fallback model, the SE. It's all plenty of cash for Apple but arguably not quite what they wanted.

        I'd also contend that Apple playing catch up with Samsung and effectively admitting that Samsung got it right the favour OLED screens has somewhat dimmed the nimbus of the Apple Galaxy X.

        1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          Apple playing catch up with Samsung

          Which would be why the latest Samsung is priced similarly to the iPhone X - which came out months before the latest Samsung..

          (If anything, I suspect that Samsung would dearly love to inhabit the same sphere as an aspirational brand as Apple but don't have the corporate structure to do it. They certainly have the designers and technical expertise..)

          1. katrinab Silver badge

            When the Galaxy Note first came out, it was more expensive than the most expensive iPhone, and it sold well. When the iPhone 6+ came out, Apple priced it the same as the Galaxy Note.

            So Samsung did manage to set the price ceiling until the Note 7 battery problems caused them to abandon that position to Apple.

      2. JohnFen Silver badge

        "Apple has finally found the high end (and beyond) of what the market will bear."

        This isn't clear at all. It might not signify that people aren't willing to pay that much, it might instead signify that the X doesn't deliver enough value to be worth that price tag.

      3. Roj Blake Silver badge

        Often, an insanely-expensive top-of-the-range model isn't in there for people to buy. It's there to make people think they're getting a bargain when they buy the ludicrously-priced model just under it.

        It's similar to the cinema popcorn tactic.

    3. anothercynic Silver badge

      It's only diehard Apple fanboys...

      ... Who do buy it. And even many fanboys look at the price and go "the 8 will do fine".

      Any phone that costs me as much as a laptop will not be on my shopping list anytime soon...

      1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Re: It's only diehard Apple fanboys...

        Who do buy it. And even many fanboys look at the price and go "the 8 will do fine".

        The 8 would have been the flagship…

  2. sanmigueelbeer Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    The biggest problem with the iPhone X was the price.

    Apple could've made twice the profit had they priced the iPhone X at US$2,000.

    1. Field Commander A9

      The price of iPhone X...

      is not a problem with the iPhone X,

      .... it's a problem with YOU.

      ------- unknown iFanboy.

    2. BebopWeBop Silver badge

      Price yes, but that silly notch and face recognition as opposed to fingerprint are a no no, as is size (I am a very happy user of an SE)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Nobody has nailed down the reason why. The notch is a side effect of edge to edge displays.

        I won't be buying an edge to edge phone due to ergonomics, you need a bezel to hold it.

        Apple and Samsung are just copying eaxh other, for fear of losing marketshare by missing out. Common sense has been pushed aside.

        Perfectly happy with my pixel2 at £450, half the price of an iPhone and beats them in every area...

        1. KroSha

          "Perfectly happy with my pixel2 at £450, half the price of an iPhone and beats them in every area..."

          Cost more than my SE, and beats your Pixel2 in every area...

      2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        but that silly notch

        As copied by every high-end Android phone this year?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "As copied by every high-end Android phone this year?"

          Nope,

          pixel 2, no notch.

          Pixel2 XL, no notch

          Huawei p10, no notch

          Sony Xperia xz2, no notch

          Samsung note 8, no notch

          HTC u11, no notch

          Nokia 9, no notch

          And so on......

    3. David Kelly 2

      No, they could not. Obviously you believe government can tax the economy into prosperity?

      At $2000 not enough X's would be sold to pay for development. The Laffer Curve applies to product pricing as well as government taxation.

      1. David Webb

        @David Kelly 2

        I'm thinking The Reg should introduce the same sort of bots that Reddit has, I'm sure they can add a "sarcasm detection bot" so when someone replies to an obviously sarcastic remark the bot would pop into action and offer you the correct measurements of Sheep In A Vacuum.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          > I'm sure they can add a "sarcasm detection bot"

          Perhaps add a 'whoosh!' button alongside the up and down votes?

      2. AS1

        @David Kelly 2

        I think Sam Beer's comment was tongue in cheek, implying that if you were daft enough to pay $1000 for a phone you'll also be daft enough to pay $2000. (Thus the sales numbers would be the same.)

      3. IHateWearingATie

        <Pedant>

        Also, it's not a Laffer curve, it's a plain old demand curve. The Laffer curve is so named as it shows attributes similar to a demand curve but specifically applies to tax and revenue.

        </Pedant>

    4. Ledswinger Silver badge

      Apple could've made twice the profit had they priced the iPhone X at US$2,000.

      Since the operating profit margin for Apple is around 30%, as priced the $999 iPhone X earns them about $300 of profit. If they charged $2,000 then they'd not see any material change in the cost of materials or corporate overhead, so they'd make $2,300, over 7x the profit per unit.

      How many people would have paid that sort of money would be the big question.

      1. Jeffrey Nonken Silver badge

        God help us when people fail to do proper economic research before making sarcastic jokes.

  3. macjules Silver badge

    In defence ..

    Speaking as one who wanted to wait for the much-vaunted iPhone 9 release this year, but was instead 'forced' by O2 to take on a £43 per month iPhone X, I must say that I have slowly warmed to it.

    I don't like:

    The double action required to free up memory (slide up until the apps show, then hold and wait for the red delete button to appear),

    The facial recognition and double click for ApplePay - it always just launches bloody Siri instead.

    Having to remember which bit of the screen you are supposed to slide up or down - top left for network, top right for the wifi/BT connections etc

    Apart from that I love that the facial recognition works faultlessly, even if you are wearing sunglasses. Speed is a major factor, and the battery lasts anything up to 4 days: given that my last "smart" phone was an iPhone 6 with a battery life less than a lemon with 2 elements stuck in it.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Tom 38 Silver badge

      Re: In defence ..

      Speed is a major factor, and the battery lasts anything up to 4 days: given that my last "smart" phone was an iPhone 6 with a battery life less than a lemon with 2 elements stuck in it.

      The last phone you had had a sucky battery after a while, so you went out and got a more expensive version from the same manufacturer? Truly, one born every minute.

      1. FIA

        Re: In defence ..

        The last phone you had had a sucky battery after a while, so you went out and got a more expensive version from the same manufacturer?

        Are you really surprised that not everyone makes purchasing decisions based on the same criteria you do?

        Truly, one born every minute.

        ...it always seem to be the affluent ones too.

      2. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: In defence ..

        @ Tom 38

        Reread Macjule's first sentence again.

        Regardless of how he got the phone, he's ended up with something he appreciates - good battery life for his average use.

        Good for him. My LG Nexus 5 battery was terrible; it didn't stop me considering an LG V20.

        1. Jeffrey Nonken Silver badge

          Re: In defence ..

          No. Once you are disappointed in a product in any way from a company, you should refuse to ever buy anything from that company again. Ever.

          ...Makes It tough to buy a cell phone after a few iterations. Spend your disappointment equity carefully.

          Me, I bought a Pixel after having my second Nexus die on me. Figured it was made by a different manufacturer, maybe it wouldn't have the same problem.

    3. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: In defence ..

      but was instead 'forced' by O2 to take on a £43 per month iPhone X

      How does this work? Do they come round threatening your life if you don't agree? That's more than I spend a year on my phone.

      The I-Phone X is a great phone, no doubt, and the facial recognition may be useful for some. But the notch has all the hallmarks of a solution in search of a problem. Time will tell.

      1. gnasher729 Silver badge

        Re: In defence ..

        "But the notch has all the hallmarks of a solution in search of a problem. "

        Not at all. It's the solution to a problem.

        The problem is that you want the largest possible amount of screen, but you need a bit of space on top of the phone that cannot be used for screen, for technical reasons. So instead having an x millimetre high black stripe on the top of the phone, they have this notch, x millimetre high, with some usable space on the left or right. Enough space to show you date, battery, wifi/3G state. The alternative would be the full width black stripe and put these items lower, where they eat up the available screen height.

        "Can't wait for the Notch to appear in lower priced phones (without facial recognition, of course)"

        They will. Because there are things on the top of every phone that take some space, but not the whole width of the phone, so the same solution can be applied quite reasonably.

        1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

          Re: In defence ..

          The problem is that you want the largest possible amount of screen

          Says who? I want to be able to hold it without making things happen unadvertently. Coicidentally this is one of the reasons why we have bezels.

          Samsung's approach for screen maximisation which was both aesthetic and functional was to add a curve and put dedicated buttons on it.

          1. JohnFen Silver badge

            Re: In defence ..

            Indeed. This push for "no bezels" is not desirable. It's the exact opposite of desirable.

        2. JohnFen Silver badge

          Re: In defence ..

          The notch is a problem in search of a solution. A big problem.

          "Because there are things on the top of every phone that take some space, but not the whole width of the phone"

          Except, on my phone, those things absolutely take up the whole width, and I want every one of them there. So the "notch" solves nothing. It could even make things worse, if I'm forced to cram everything into those ears.

    4. fandom Silver badge

      Re: In defence ..

      "The double action required to free up memory "

      Is that something you really need to do or just something you do for the sake of it?

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: In defence ..

      " but was instead 'forced' by O2 to take on a £43 per month iPhone X"

      How were you "forced"?

      Try this amazing phrase, it will stand you well in life.

      Wait for it....

      Here it comes.....

      "No"

    6. IsJustabloke Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: In defence ..

      " 'forced' by O2 to take on a £43 per month iPhone X"

      Forced?

      Did they hold a gun to your head?

      Did they say take this contract or the teddy bear gets it?

      Or did they say, we don't have the gear/contract you want, how about this instead?

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: In defence ..

      > The facial recognition

      Aaaarrrgghh! It's face recognition.

      Facial recognition would be the ability to point it at a woman with two slices of cucumber over her eyes and it tell you which spa she's in.

    8. JaimieV

      Re: In defence ..

      >The double action required to free up memory

      >(slide up until the apps show, then hold and wait

      >for the red delete button to appear),

      Don't do that. There's no point at all in hitting the red button on apps that aren't even running because they've been hibernated. It just costs more battery power to launch them from scratch next time. iOS is far better at memory management than you are.

      Closing apps need only be done if you have something that's wedged, or needs terminating with extreme prejudice like the Facebook app.

      1. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: In defence ..

        "Closing apps need only be done if you have something that's wedged, or needs terminating with extreme prejudice like the Facebook app."

        Or if you want to be absolutely sure that it won't start operating without your knowledge.

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: In defence ..

          > Indeed. This push for "no bezels" is not desirable. It's the exact opposite of desirable.

          Eh? You can restore bezels by sticking your phone in a case. Having very slim bezels on a phone means that it can still be protected fron drop damage without messing the ergonomics up too much. I can't see the downside.

          1. JohnFen Silver badge

            Re: In defence ..

            "I can't see the downside."

            Well, there's a few downsides, including that damned notch. But how does putting the phone in a case resolve the problem with the lack of bezels? In order to resolve that problem, the case is going to make the phone physically larger, cover up some of the screen, or wrap the phone in such a way as to not change the bezel situation. None of those are good solutions.

            Also, and this is just a minor point, I really hate phone cases. If I need to put a case on a phone to make it functional, that's me making a sacrifice in order to fix a design flaw. If I'm paying top dollar for a phone, why should I have to make a sacrifice?

        2. Phil Endecott Silver badge

          Re: In defence ..

          > Or if you want to be absolutely sure that it won't start operating without your knowledge.

          In iOS, suspended apps can do nothing without you knowing about it. If they are using the GPS or the microphone, you get a huge coloured stripe at the top of the screen to tell you about it. They get a few seconds after being suspended to tidy up. VoIP apps can monitor a network connection for incoming calls. Err, maybe a couple of things I’ve forgotten.

          In any case. most of those apps that you are “closing” are not running anyway. It’s primarily a list of recently-used apps, not apps that are currently in memory.

          1. JohnFen Silver badge

            Re: In defence ..

            "suspended apps can do nothing without you knowing about it."

            If they are actually suspended, then they can't do anything, period, I would hope. But how do I know if they're really suspended or not? You even mention one case where they're not (VoIP apps listening for connections).

            The bottom line is that you can't trust apps. Even if it's just a feel-good measure and has no actual effect, I feel much more comforted being sure that they're actually shut down.

    9. katrinab Silver badge

      Re: In defence ..

      The 6+ lasted me about 32 hours when new, now I get about 20 hours out of it.

  4. James 51 Silver badge

    It's not just the iphones that are getting expensive. A month after the S7 came out I was able to get a new S6 for £370. A new S7 from the same vendor is just getting to that price now, more than a year later in the model's life span. Contract prices too are just crazy. £40 a month is generally the least you'll pay for a recent handset with a decent amount of data. Something has to give.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      I'm much the same. I got a Galaxy S8 for around £500 due to then upcoming release of the S9. I guess that Samsung initially sold enough S8s at full price that they could afford to discount it before launching its successor. Other than the S9's potential future-proofing of Project Treble, I'm not missing that much - certainly not £300 worth of difference.

    2. Anonymous Coward Silver badge
      Trollface

      Economics

      My phone cost me £140. My contract is <£10/month.

      So by not getting a flashy phone on contract, I'm saving £30/month and the phone is therefore paid off in 5 months.

      Yes, I think I made the right decision. I'm perfectly happy with fruit that's edible and a phone that's nougat.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Economics

        I agree, you can pick up some pretty reasonable phones for sub £200 (many now sub £150).

        If you have someone like Plusnet for your broadband, you can even get a basic data allowance from £6 a month (which of course is EE under another name).

        1. Peter Ford

          Re: Economics

          I see your £6/month, and say my (dodgy chinese brand) phone cost £85, is IP68-rated and generally damage-resistant, dual SIM (plus SD card), and is on iD @ £5/month (including 2.25GB data with rollovers)

          Not only is the package cheap, but the phone is more likely to survive my lifestyle than a £999 iPhone X. The money I save pays for the wear and tear on my trouser pocket (it's not exactly a lightweight phone...)

    3. phuzz Silver badge

      It's not just that new phones are making the old ones cheaper, phone specs have been more-than-useable for years now. So a £150 phone can do everything that a two year old flagship could do, and can do everything the average punter wants.

      So you have a choice, spend £300+ on a brand new phone, or spend £100 on a brand new phone that can do all the same stuff. The expensive phone probably has bigger numbers (eg CPU speed), but not anything that most people will notice day to day.

      So why go for the flagship models?

    4. Baldrickk Silver badge

      I "bought" my S7 when new (out one month) on a £24 month contract (unlimited minutes, unlimited texts, 6GB data)

      Is 6GB not "decent"? I don't tend to get near unless I have turned wifi off "by accident" (usually as a means to stop it trying to connect to use a weak network when the connection is poor, e.g. after leaving the house, getting into the car, then trying to put in an address into the sat-nav app.) and then start watching lots of YouTube, forgetting to turn it back on again.

  5. Gio Ciampa

    "Consumers were more price-sensitive than he had assumed"

    Also more hype-sensitive I'll wager...

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    supercycles

    to think I expected some revolutionary design, I dunno, 10 lb total weight, lazy gun holder... all I got was the "X"! :/

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: supercycles

      Supercycles is an established term for commodities (ores, coal, oil, etc.) which have long investment and hope for longer boom periods. It does make no sense for consumer electronics.

      1. DougS Silver badge

        They just got the supercycle timing wrong

        I called this last fall. Having a single model was never going to drive a supercycle, because at least half their sales of new phones are 'plus' sized, and the starting price was too high for mass adoption. Next fall is when the supercycle of 6/6S/7 owners upgrading happens, because Apple will have three new phones (assuming rumors are true)

        6.5" - bigger iPhone X

        5.8" - iPhone "X+1"

        6.1" - cheaper iPhone X with LCD instead of OLED

        That will give people options on what to upgrade to that are mostly the same, instead of the high priced X making the 8/8 plus look outdated in form and features. They'll be able to have a starting price where the normal iPhone starting price is of $699 or perhaps $749 at most, then the "X+1" will probably be $899 instead of $999 like this year.

        1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

          Re: They just got the supercycle timing wrong

          Next fall is when the supercycle of 6/6S/7 owners upgrading happens,

          Or Apple decides it made a mistake and godes bag to a simpler set of phones while it waits for Samsung to develop flexible screens or other great stuff.

  7. trevorde
    Joke

    Feature trickle down

    Can't wait for the Notch to appear in lower priced phones (without facial recognition, of course)

    1. stratofish

      Re: Feature trickle down

      The upcoming LG G7 is looking to have one so sadly no joke icon required.

      I've just downgraded my mobile contract from phone+SIM to SIM-only. There is nothing in the current generation to justify the huge bump in monthly fee that the provider wants.

    2. fishman

      Re: Feature trickle down

      The Essential phone has a notch - It came out before the Iphone X, and is currently around $500.

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: Feature trickle down

        Lots of phones are going to have notches, especially the Chinese ones. Really, I don't get the fuss - on an OLED screen the black status bar is indistinguishable from the bezel anyway. Most people most of the time don't have an entire stutus bar full of icons, leaving a black areas in the middle. Why not stick the camera and earpiece there?

        Phones are getting taller (2:1 is becoming very common) to allow users to read more text with less scrolling (the upper limit on the width of the phone being constrained by hand size), so the whole notched area of the screen is beyond that covered by the common 16:9 aspect ratio for video, never mind the 4:3 output of the phone's own camera.

        I just haven't read anyone make the case for the downsides of a notch other than aesthetics - which are a function of the OS and software (Apple made a deliberate decision to highlight the notch, not every version of Android does). Again, OLED screens allow the notch to be invisible when just showing the status bar.

        An interesting article about lasers, specifically the challenges in cutting OLED substrates. Notches don't really add to the difficulty, since serious engineering challenges had to be overcome just to produce high doing OLEDs at smartphone sizes:

        https://www.industrial-lasers.com/articles/2018/03/manufacturing-challenges-in-laser-cutting-oled-displays.html

        1. JohnFen Silver badge

          Re: Feature trickle down

          "I just haven't read anyone make the case for the downsides of a notch other than aesthetics"

          Yes, because that's the objection -- aesthetics. That's not a small thing. The notch is horrible.

          In my use case anyway, it probably wouldn't matter much, assuming that I'd have some way to move the status bar down below the notch where it can take up the full width of the screen, so the "ears" would always be black. If I couldn't do that, then the notch is not just an aesthetic problem, but a functional one.

  8. Joe Gurman

    I must be missing something

    The simple bar chart indicates that Apple has gotten 16% of its buyers (same number as last year? Who knows from the graph) to buy a device that's 20 - 25% more expensive than anything they had in their line last year, while still offering a wide range of device prices. If the absolute numbers and percentage margins are similar to the previous year, then Apple is presumably making more money. I believe that's what corporations are meant to do, but I, well, might be missing something.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: I must be missing something

      You didn't miss anything but I think the real comparison is (X + 8 + 8 Plus) vs (7 + 7 Plus) which does show a significant decline in market share at the top end.

      However, as Andrew has pointed out many times, Apple makes a shed load on any of the devices, the margins rising as the price rises. If the assessment is correct then Apple should see flat sales and profits growth. This is hardly a disaster and just confirms that the market is maturing for Apple as well.

      Eyes will be on whether Apple is continuing to grow sales in the walled garden which is the new battleground: Amazaon, Netflix and Spotify are now as much competitors as Samsung and Huawei.

      1. DougS Silver badge

        Re: I must be missing something

        This is the first time Apple offered three generations of iPhone. Had they not continued to sell the 6S/6S plus, some of the people who bought them might have bought used/refurbished iPhones instead of new ones, and if so the percentage of 8/8+/X purchases would have been a bit higher.

        The rumors had pretty much everything Apple did leaked before their September announcement, but I don't recall anyone predicting they would keep selling the 6S/6S plus. That was a surprise, and I wonder if it was a one time thing / experiment or if they will be selling the 7/7 plus/8/8 plus alongside the three new models (they will drop the X because its replacement will already have a price cut versus the $999 it is selling for today thanks to resolving their terrible yields for the 3D sensors they were having until the end of the year)

        I agree that services is going to become more and more important for them, since it is where Apple's best growth story is now that the smartphone market has no growth left (except maybe at the very low end as the remaining feature phones are driven out by ultra low end smartphones)

  9. Alan Brown Silver badge

    Time was

    that the price point for the flagships remained the same and the feature set increased.

    Now the feature sets are increasing but so are the price points. With the lifecycle of the average phone being 2-4 years that's going to introduce consumer resistance. People are sticking at the same price point when they go back for another phone.

    1. deadlockvictim Silver badge

      History repeating itself

      May I remind you that this is nothing new for Apple?

      They had very pricey computers (the Mac II series) in the latter half of the 1980s and while the feature set went up, so did the price, until the flagship product (the IIfx) would set one back £10K and that was before the keyboard, monitor or mouse).

      1. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

        Re: History repeating itself

        Eventually too a lack of Imperial adornment was noted and Apple nearly went bust, being given a lifeline by Microsoft so MS could claim they did not have a desktop OS monopoly.

        1. WolfFan Silver badge

          Re: History repeating itself

          If by 'Apple being given a lifeline by Microsoft', you mean 'Apple sued the bejesus out of Microsoft for stealing QuickTime code and won big', then you're right. http://thisdayintechhistory.com/12/06/apple-sues-over-quicktime/ and http://thisdayintechhistory.com/08/06/apple-and-microsoft-call-truce/ for more info. Officially Microsoft handed over $150 million, pocket change to both companies; unofficially, it was closer to $2 billion, which is Real Money(tm). That, and Microsoft agreed to keep supporting MSIE and MS Office on Macs for 5 years. At the end of the 5 years, MSIE for Mac was retired, to the cheers of millions, but MS Office on Mac is still around, because the Mac Business Unit, the people who code MS Office for Mac, were the single most profitable division of Microsoft on a per head basis for well over a decade and are still in the top three. Bill Gates made a _lot_ of money selling Office to Mac users. Remember always,Excel and PowerPoint started on Macs; Excel was native Microsoft, but billg bought PowerPoint.

          I had a copy of the final version of MSIE for Mac, v 5.2.3. It worked, sorta, for a long time after Microsoft stopped supporting it.

          1. gnasher729 Silver badge

            Re: History repeating itself

            "If by 'Apple being given a lifeline by Microsoft', you mean 'Apple sued the bejesus out of Microsoft for stealing QuickTime code and won big', "

            To be honest, it was a third party development company which stole the code (and handed it to Microsoft), and I would give Microsoft the benefit of the doubt that they didn't know it was stolen.

            And I think Apple didn't actually sue Microsoft, but told them the facts, and Microsoft said "Oh shit"...

          2. JohnFen Silver badge

            Re: History repeating itself

            I think he was referring to the time (1997) when Apple was in danger of going under, and Microsoft bailed them out by buying a bunch of stock in exchange for Apple promising to support MS Office for five years. https://www.wired.com/2009/08/dayintech_0806/

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: History repeating itself

            I had a copy of the final version of MSIE for Mac, v 5.2.3. It worked, sorta, for a long time after Microsoft stopped supporting it.

            I've never met you, but now I want to burn you alive. Fucking MSIE 5.1/5.2 holdouts and their ridiculous rendering bugs. Young'uns today think its a pain testing on Chrome, Firefox, IE and Edge, we had MSIE 5.{0,0.1,1,1,2,5},6,7 , Chrome, Firefox, Opera, and only the last 3 really worked anything like each other.

  10. JohnFen Silver badge

    My problem with the latest top-end phones

    My problem isn't the price. My problem is that, in terms of meeting my needs for a smartphone, the top-end phones released over the past year or two are actively inferior to those from 5 years ago.

    1. DougS Silver badge

      Re: My problem with the latest top-end phones

      Curious what needs you have that phones five years ago met but today's don't? I guess if you consider a 3.5mm port a must have then Apple's latest aren't for you, but other than that what has Apple taken away? If you are an Android guy, anything that gets taken away on some models like 3.5mm, SD, removable battery, etc. are still available somewhere, you just can't get them all in the same phone if you buy a flagship.

      But why would you restrict yourself to flagships? After all, if smartphones five years ago did what you want, you can't exactly complain about low end performance since today's $100 Android phone has performance that matches if not exceeds a 5 year old flagship...

      1. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: My problem with the latest top-end phones

        Headphone jack, sd card slot, and replaceable battery are must-haves for me in a high-end phone. If I'm paying top dollar, I am not willing to sacrifice functionality. I'd also really like to have a bezel, but that's not a showstopper.

        "But why would you restrict yourself to flagships?"

        Who said I do? I was just responding to the topic, which is high-end phones. There aren't any that I've found that meet my needs. Unless someone puts one on the market, when it comes time to replace my current phone, I'm going with the lowest-end phone that can run a WiFi hotspot, and carry a pocket computer to do the stuff that I currently use my phone for. It sucks that I'll have to carry two devices, but such is the state of the market.

        "since today's $100 Android phone has performance that matches if not exceeds a 5 year old flagship."

        I am unaware of a $100 phone that comes close to my current phone, which is a 6 year old flagship. But even if there was, a $100 phone is also missing important functionality -- just different functionality (such as a large, attractive screen, etc.)

        1. JohnFen Silver badge

          Re: My problem with the latest top-end phones

          "my current phone, which is a 6 year old flagship"

          I did the math wrong -- my phone is 5 years old, not 6.

        2. JDX Gold badge

          Re: My problem with the latest top-end phones

          So nobody makes phones with SD slots, headphone jacks and replaceable batteries? This seems unlikely.

          I struggle to see why SD/battery are ironclad must-haves though, what use case makes them mandatory rather than convenient?

          1. JohnFen Silver badge

            Re: My problem with the latest top-end phones

            "So nobody makes phones with SD slots, headphone jacks and replaceable batteries?"

            Can you find a top end phone that has these?

            "I struggle to see why SD/battery are ironclad must-haves though, what use case makes them mandatory rather than convenient?"

            Why are you so dismissive of convenience? If I'm paying top dollar for something, convenience becomes much more important.

            Then they aren't must-haves for you. I was only saying that they are for me, not that they should be for everybody. But since you're interested, here's why I consider them must-haves: I use my phone to store a lot of data (music, documents, etc.). Most phones don't come with enough storage for me, so I need to expand it. Also, it's important to me to be able to be able to transfer that data to and from the phone quickly, and nothing beats being able to remove the SD card and insert it into my desktop machine to do this.

            As to battery, there are two reasons this is important to me. First, it means that I can easily replace the battery when it gets worn out. Second, it means that I can use the phone for a longer time between charges (important when I'm away for a few days) without having to lug around a battery bank. Also, it's a lot better to swap a depleted battery for a fresh one than to have to keep the phone attached to a charger for hours at a time.

            1. DougS Silver badge

              Re: My problem with the latest top-end phones

              Again, why does your phone need to be "top end"? If your current phone is five years old, it is nowhere near top end or even mid range today.

              1. JohnFen Silver badge

                Re: My problem with the latest top-end phones

                Again, I never said it did -- that's just the topic of this discussion.

                That said, I'd love to have a high-performance phone, and am dismayed that I can't find any that are adequate.

  11. Deej

    In other news

    Lamborghini sold 3,815 vehicles in 2017 worldwide, while Ford sold 22,700 in the UK in January 2017 alone.

  12. MonkeyBob
    Devil

    There seems to be 2 types of commentard in here

    Person A wants a cheap no nonse phone that make calls and send/receive texts and maybe a quick game of snake, and there's a nice selection pf phones for them

    Person B has money and wants all the blls and whistles, theres a phone for them as well.

    Person A is a grumpy old git and can't understand why person B wants to spend so much money on a phone.

    Person B is too busy down the pub with his mates to care what person A thinks, plus he has friends that he can call on his phone.

    Let the down votes begin.

    1. JohnFen Silver badge

      "Person B has money and wants all the blls and whistles, theres a phone for them as well."

      I must be person C: I can afford a high-end phone, and want high-end features, but there are no phones on the market for me. The high-end phones that I see are missing one or more critically important features.

      1. Baldrickk Silver badge

        I can see a person D category too - wants a decent phone with a decent feature set for a decent price.

        You can have all your notches, curved screens etc, your latest processors and so on.

        You can have your feature phones and feel superior because you "don't need" other features.

        I just want something that works, lets me do what I want and that doesn't cost the earth.

        I guess that makes me the phone manufacturer's worst customer. I'd still be using my perfectly capable G3 if I hadn't smashed it. I'll likely be keeping my S7 for at least another tick-tock cycle, presumably on a sim-only contract.

      2. JDX Gold badge

        I don't 3.5mm or SD or swappable batteries are "high end" features. The former is a standard feature they're replacing with something worse, the other two are niche features.

        The idea that a top-price phone should have EVERY feature doesn't make sense in a world where slim & sleek is seen as a key feature.

  13. Sil

    Since Apple never publishes iPhone sales by models, analysts can write whatever they want.

    Unless some good soul at Apple takes the risk to send sales numbers to the press, we'll probably never know how well or how bad the different models are selling, unless we tolerate huge margins of errors.

    1. DougS Silver badge

      They extrapolate from data they get from carriers, and retail stores that sell iPhones. Maybe Apple is selling 100% iPhone X, and maybe they are selling 1% iPhone X, the analysts are just making the assumption that the product mix for people buying from Apple is the same as people buying from Verizon or Target....I doubt they are exactly the same, but I see no reason they should be wildly different.

  14. Justice
    Thumb Down

    The line must be drawn HERE!

    I'm still happy with my iPhone 6S Plus which works just fine.

    Apple stopped being viable when they removed the headphone jack.

    Yeah, yeah, I know that all mobile phones are going that way... but I'm not upgrading my pretty awesome cans and car stereo because Apple think they know what we want. They don't. Recent iOS upgrades tell me that they have absolutely NO idea what we want.

    I've been with Apple since the 3GS, but I'll be moving over to Samsung or Huawei on my next upgrade. iPhone's have had their day, but in the grand scheme of things, they're overpriced and 2 years behind everyone else.

    Apart from the notch on the iPhone X.

    That was cutting edge.

    I'll get me coat.

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: The line must be drawn HERE!

      I'm fairly sure you can get an adapter for either end of the cable phone<==>audio device. I agree this is a right PITA but for car stereo and home AV equipment this can't be that much of a problem. For headphones on the go, ugh.

  15. Joe Gurman

    Please, please....

    ....don't let facts confuse El Reg: https://appleinsider.com/articles/18/04/25/apples-iphone-x-delivered-a-ko-punch-to-cheap-androids-q1-smartphone-demand-slumped-globally-but-asp-grew-by-21 .

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