back to article Nobody in China wants Apple's eye-wateringly priced iPhones, sighs CEO Tim Cook

Apple shares were temporarily pulled from trading on Wednesday as the Cupertino idiot-tax operation warned of lousy sales numbers on the horizon. CEO Tim Cook told investors that come January 29, the phone-flinger won't hit the revenue figures it said it would reach, and would in fact see its first year-over-year decline since …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There's disposable income then there's

    "pile it up on the lawn, soak it in petrol, & dance around the pyre" levels of idiocy. A phone that costs a major percent of most peoples disposable income isn't going to sell as well as the exact same thing priced at a point where you might pick it up with the crisps & beer. Of course your shiny didn't sell well you dumbfuck, you've turned it into a status symbol OF status symbols & only the rich or extremely financially foolish will touch it.

    1. sanmigueelbeer Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: There's disposable income then there's

      Dumb is pricing the iPhone way above everyone's reach. Foolish is making a new model and it's priced >20% MORE than the previous ones without any major improvements.

      1. Cavehomme_

        Re: There's disposable income then there's

        Cook’s (il)logic is such that if sales drop another 20% then he’ll increase the price by 25%

        I’ve never rated the man as CEO at all. Never rated St Ives nor Ms Burberry either. Collectively they’ve lost touch with the consumer market and completely screwed up with the pro market.

        They’ve also completely ignored us SE and 5 users too, no product to replace our 4” devices for three years; feck you, you useless trio.

        I’m loving see Buffet lose handsomely though; tosser.

        1. steviebuk Silver badge

          Re: There's disposable income then there's

          What's wrong with Buffet? He's always seemed OK to me. Although I don't know why he ever invested in IBM. They haven't been any good in years.

    2. Waseem Alkurdi

      Re: There's disposable income then there's

      Agreed, but I only buy them because they tend to hold their resale value well, especially when they cross international borders.

      1. MyffyW Silver badge

        Re: There's disposable income then there's

        Hold their resale value? If I buy a £120 quid Android which lasts me two years (which I have) then even if it's worth nothing at the end, I'm still up on the chap who buys a £800 phone that "retains" half it's value.

        1. Waseem Alkurdi

          Re: There's disposable income then there's

          I see your point ... but who said that I buy them new?

          They definitely sick resale-value-wise when bought new, but are excellent value when bought a year or two down the line when the major price blow is already dealt.

          An iPhone 7 Plus (from eBay US) costs ~ $330. In my country it costs at least $550.

          1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

            Re: There's disposable income then there's

            An iPhone 7 Plus (from eBay US) costs ~ $330. In my country it costs at least $550.

            That's not related to the phones holding their value but arbitrage because of constrained supplies.

            As noted elsewhere, Apple props up the resale value through the repurchasing programme.

          2. BGatez

            Re: There's disposable income then there's

            Unless by then the battery's done (quite likely) adding another $70-90 US to replace (if there's an Apple store nearby)

        2. macjules Silver badge

          Re: There's disposable income then there's

          Except that they do not retain their value. An iPhone X 64Gb with. costing over £1,000 less than 10 months ago has a 'trade in' value of less than £400.

          1. Gordon 10 Silver badge
            FAIL

            Re: There's disposable income then there's

            Thats not market value though. Trade-ins are always significantly below what the market (ebay etc) will pay both to allow the company operating the trade in (which isnt Apple) to make a profit* and because many of the trade ins wont be minters, and require extensive refurbishment.

            *Im willing to bet that Apple also gouge the Trade In company for its blessing to operate the the trade in scheme too.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: There's disposable income then there's

          I bought a Pixel 2 for £450, it destroys even the most expensive iPhone in terms of camera quality, and matches it everywhere else, and I can easily shift it for ~£300.

          It's purely a myth that iPhones hold their price.

          1. Waseem Alkurdi

            Re: There's disposable income then there's

            I have a Pixel 1 XL that I got from eBay for a $150.

            It cost north of $700 just two years ago.

          2. Steve Todd

            Re: There's disposable income then there's

            "and matches it everywhere else" (if you ignore battery life, CPU and GPU performance that is). It was also roughly the same price as the iPhone 8 that it launched against.

            The problem that Apple are hitting is that, from a hardware point of view, you don't need to spend much money these days to be good enough for most users. Ecosystem and software are separate questions.

        4. Captain Scarlet Silver badge
          Trollface

          Re: There's disposable income then there's

          Have an upvote from someone with a Motorola G3 worth £6 apparently

        5. vtcodger Silver badge

          Re: There's disposable income then there's

          Hold their resale value? If I buy a £120 quid ...

          Sure. But will that cut rate Android gidgee BEND? Betcha not.

          It's all a matter of of what your priorities are.

      2. jelabarre59 Silver badge

        Re: There's disposable income then there's

        Agreed, but I only buy them because they tend to hold their resale value well, especially when they cross international borders.

        Seeing as I tend to keep 'major purchases' (this includes phones, cars, televisions, computers, and the like) until they're well and truly dead, 'resale value' means nothing to me. Not being locked into Apple's armoured and fortified (not just 'walled') garden means way more to me. If I'm going to have to deal with someone's walled garden (hello modern-day Android) then I'd prefer to spend as little on it as I can.

    3. pavel.petrman

      Re: There's disposable income then there's

      Re " the exact same thing priced at a point where you might pick it up with the crisps & beer" - what you don't pay with money you pay with your own, and all your aquaintances' very personal data. I'll leave it to you to decide which of the two is dumber.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: There's disposable income then there's

      Indeed, since Jobs went for a better world, the Apple gear pricing went totally bonkers.

      I remember when (2010-2012), a macbook would be, say, double the price of a win laptop of more or less the same specs. Given the shit Windows was in back then, the deal did make sense. Now, it's more 3-4 times and it no longer makes sense. Same goes with iPhone. Apart for crazy people on Swiss payroll, who can afford 1100-1200 bucks for a mere phone everyone will try to pinch from you ?

      It seems Cook doesn't even realise this and that's what would freak the shit out of me, were I an Apple shareholder.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "Given the shit Windows was in back then" 2010-2012?

        If you were speaking about 1991 you could have been right - but that was already Windows 7 time - things started to go the wrong again after Vista from 2012 onward, when MS released Windows 8.

        And no, on a spec basis the cost of a Windows laptop and a Mac were and are roughly equal - just there is no low-end Apple hardware - and since now low-end and middle-level hardware is enough powerful for most users, and increasing the screen ppi gets you beyond eyes resolution, Apple find itself in a difficult position to justify its prices but the bling factor and easy upgrade path for current users.

        They should thank Nadella, though, Windows 10 isn't exactly the version that could lure users away from macOS - not for big technical deficiencies, but for its ill-designed UI and Google-level data slurping.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: There's disposable income then there's

      And it looks they killed the less expensive/small model the wrong time... did Cook really believe the buyers of that model would have run to buy something costing almost thrice?

      Android unfettered slurping does matter only a minority of privacy conscious users - and still you can't be sure Apple doesn't go that way anytime it feels it needs those money.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: There's disposable income then there's

        > did Cook really believe the buyers of that model would have run to buy something costing almost thrice?

        Apple doesn't care about you buying the phone so much as you buying apps/music/movies/etc on their infrastructure for decades. A cheap phone attracts poor people who don't spend as much online.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "Apple doesn't care about you buying the phone so much as you buying apps"

          The bigger part of their revenues still come from the hardware they sell - not apps or music. Otherwise it would be wiser to decrease hardware price and gain market share that outside US is well below 20%.

          But do you really believe an SE user doesn't play music or buy apps? Do you really need a 6" screen and a notch to play some music?

          1. JohnFen Silver badge

            Re: "Apple doesn't care about you buying the phone so much as you buying apps"

            "market share that outside US is well below 20%."

            Not everywhere outside the US. In the US, iPhone marketshare is around 40%. These areas have the same or greater iPhone penetration: Great Britain, Australia, Japan, and China.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: "Apple doesn't care about you buying the phone so much as you buying apps"

              This NYT article from yesterday says Apple has about 7% in China:

              https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/04/technology/china-smartphones-iphone.html

              It is true in some countries it is higher - I'm quite sure Japanese don't like Chinese products or Korean ones. Still, Apple is relying on countries with a lot of "disposable" income. Let's see how Brexit could impact Apple sales as well, for example.

        2. HolySchmoley

          Re: There's disposable income then there's

          >A cheap phone attracts poor people

          A phone with a high performance / price ratio attracts smart people.

          A fashion-statement phone attracts the sort of person who would believe that Trumpian fake hair does something for their public image whilst being ignorant of exactly what it does and why people laugh at them.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: There's disposable income then there's

            But you don't need to spend $1,100 for performance when some of the recent $500 handsets do exactly the same. Choosing the latter is the smart person.

            1. StargateSg7 Bronze badge

              Re: There's disposable income then there's

              Most modern phones are UTTER BILGE CRAP !!!

              A REAL phone is IP-68 and Mil-Spec 810-G ruggedized and made out of CNC-milled block Titanium.

              It comes with a REMOVABLE 25,000 mAh Thin Film Lithium-Ion battery that runs an AMD Ryzen 2500u or 2700u Laptops-quality processor with INTEGRATED Radeon Vega-8/9 GPU that UTTERLY BLOWS AWAY any Apple or Android product!

              A REAL smartphone has an SDR (Software Defined Radio) modem and dsp chip and high-end multi-spectral Fractal antenna that has Edge/2G/3G/4G/5G/RF Shortwave/AM/FM/Iridium Satellite/Wifi frequency handling AND has 64 Gigabytes of SYSTEM RAM and a built-in 4 TB SSD drive PLUS two USB-3.1 ports and TWO Displayport connections in addition to two 512 Gigabyte SD card slots and two SIM card slots AND TWO 3.5mm audio jacks!

              It also has a 2x Optical zoom DCI 8k (8192x4320) pixel 2/3rds inch 16-bits per RGB channel HDR image sensor with 30 fps 8k and 60 fps 4K RAW and Interframe compressed video capture and a DCI 4K (4096x2160) pixel HDR display running at 120 Hz refresh rate for BEST QUALITY VR and GAMING experiences.

              THAT is a REAL SMARTPHONE and NOT these pussyfoot Apple and Android fashionista phones!

              I want the FULL-RUGGED Mil-Spec Deal for MY Phone! Not some 20-something's Avocado Toast phone!

              .

              1. StargateSg7 Bronze badge

                Re: There's disposable income then there's

                YES! You actually CAN BUY that EXACT phone for about $17000 CAN (13 000 Euros) since it TRULY IS milspec and fully ruggedized! You literally CAN run over it with a Leopard (63 tonnes) and M1-Abrams tank (73 tonnes) and it will still work! (we've tested it with those!)

      2. fishman

        Re: There's disposable income then there's

        And even if Apple itself isn't slurping data, the apps could be doing it.

    6. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: There's disposable income then there's

      Well... Cook and company aren't thinking are they? They make their products in China, pay the workers peanuts and expect them to buy a phone that's way out of their budget. It would be like Ferrari expressing surprise that factory workers in Italy aren't buying their cars. That might be poor analogy but it's the best I have at the moment.

    7. steviebuk Silver badge

      Re: There's disposable income then there's

      Or people stuck with girlfriends, boyfriends, husbands or wives that insists on having Apple kit. Despite me pointing out over and over how overpriced they are.

      1. The Nazz Silver badge

        Re: There's disposable income then there's

        re Stevie buck

        Bear in mind that buying the wife a new iPhone every year is still far, far cheaper than the divorce she would otherwise go for.

        Of course in this day and age, no self respecting wife would ever dream of having her hubbie buy her the phone in the first place.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Overpriced kit

    There are significantly cheaper options, especially in China.

    I rate myself as comfortably middle class, but stuffed if I will spend over $400 on a mere phone.

    1. Joe W
      Trollface

      Re: Overpriced kit

      But you should listen to the gospel of St. Tim, it is not just a mere phone...

    2. Updraft102 Silver badge

      Re: Overpriced kit

      I rate myself as comfortably middle class, but stuffed if I will spend over $400 on a mere phone.

      I would have to think long and hard before spending much more than a tenth of that. It's a phone whose most common use (other than being a clock) is being recharged once a week or so!

    3. sanmigueelbeer Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Overpriced kit

      There are significantly cheaper options, especially in China.

      I'd like to agree but even Huawei prefers iPhone over their own.

      Whoopsie!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "I'd like to agree but even Huawei prefers iPhone over their own"

        Do you believe executives and marketing people of any company aren't easy preys of the bling factor?

        These are the people who are obsessed by the need of showing off - which is what brought Apple to think they can charge as much as they like.

      2. Watashi

        Re: Overpriced kit

        What's the point of working for a social media marketing agency if you can't blow your big bucks on the most over-priced phone money can buy?

    4. mdubash

      Re: Overpriced kit

      Xiao Mi A2 Lite - around £130. Why pay more?

      Disclaimer: no commercial connection

      1. pavel.petrman

        Re: Overpriced kit

        Re "Why pay more?" - one reason would be to escape being totally owned by Google and doing the same to all your friends, acquaintances and random people around you. (Yes, you end up being owned by Apple, but that would be many orders of magnitude smaller problem than being owned by Alphabet).

      2. Zed Zee

        Re: Overpriced kit

        Could not agree more. Bought one for my wife around that price - it's a fantastic phone. 4000 mAh, dual SIM + separate SD card slot, massive screen, big memory and storage options and very good performance all around. After many years on Motorola (which have been great phones), I really like the Xiaomi efforts.

    5. rmason Silver badge

      Re: Overpriced kit

      What AC said.

      China isn't slowing economically, quite the reverse.

      They just won't spend $1000+ on an iPhone when they can have a xiomi or huwawei for $250-500

      The ones who do, are posers. Clearly that's not quite the hoped-for number.

      1. Kristian Walsh Silver badge

        Patriotism [Was Re: Overpriced kit]

        The mood in China has shifted from conspicuous consumption of luxury imports towards promoting the best of domestic product instead. Where once, flashing the new iPhone on launch day was seen as a sign of a successful and glamorous lifestyle, it's now frowned upon: why, goes the official line, is this person supporting an American company when there are Chinese businesses making mobile phones?

        This phenomenon has also hurt car makers: Volkswagen, whose Audi brand was seen as the go-to show of wealth in the Middle Kingdom, has seen a massive drop in sales as customers shift to more socially-acceptable products instead. (nothing to do with diesel trickery: only petrol models were sold in China)

        China's wealthy, like the wealthy everywhere, are acutely aware of which side their bread is buttered on (to use a culinarily-inappropriate metaphor...), so when the Central Committee suggests something, the wealthy and the upper middle-class tend to embrace the idea quickly and enthusiastically..

        The current warmer of the desk chair in the Oval Office hasn't helped by using tariffs, but that only accelerated an existing process.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Patriotism [Was Overpriced kit]

          Just look how they attacked Dolce & Gabbana for a very ill-designed ad. They had to perform a very Maoist self-incrimination....

        2. VikiAi
          Thumb Up

          Re: Patriotism [Was Overpriced kit]

          Yes, they looked at our "Buy Australia/US/British/etc." campaigns we were trying to use against them and copied it. Good on them, I say.

          (I have always felt those sort of campaigns were borderline "We deserve jobs more than people in other countries do).

          1. JohnFen Silver badge

            Re: Patriotism [Was Overpriced kit]

            "I have always felt those sort of campaigns were borderline "We deserve jobs more than people in other countries do"

            I've never read it that way at all.

            With everything that I buy, I buy as local as I possibly can. Not because people in other areas don't deserve jobs, but because I feel a greater social responsibility to my friends, neighbors, and community.

            1. VikiAi
              Thumb Up

              Re: Patriotism [Was Overpriced kit]

              Yours is definitely a fair interpretation too.

              Taking shipping-related environmental costs into account is also a good reason to buy more local for some things (food, in particular).

        3. commonsense

          Re: Patriotism [Was Overpriced kit]

          "China's wealthy, like the wealthy everywhere, are acutely aware of which side their bread is buttered on (to use a culinarily-inappropriate metaphor...)"

          Bravo. Have an upvote.

          1. VikiAi
            Happy

            Re: Patriotism [Was Overpriced kit]

            China has bread. It tends to be so packed with sugar, it is more like slightly tough cake to my Western-cultured palette, though! (In N-E China, at least, which is the bit I have experienced - it is a large and diverse place!)

      2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        Re: Overpriced kit

        rmason,

        China is slowing economically. Or at least was at the end of last year - we await figures to see whether government stimulus is now working or not.

        Obviously, for China a slowing economy has tended to mean growth dropping by a few percentage points to merely outstanding - rather than stratospheric - but that's because China has been urbanising and catching up from a very low econonomic base at a very rapid rate. At some point there'll be an actual recession - probbably just not for a few more years. There's been massive mis-allocation of capital limiting Chinese growth for decades now - mainly into the state-owned sector (and Party leaders' pockets). But the Chinese government still have a lot of firepower with $3 trillion of foreign assets.

        1. werdsmith Silver badge

          Re: Overpriced kit

          "Xiao Mi A2 Lite - around £130. Why pay more?"

          Well I pay more than that (but only a little more) because I absolutely detest Android and I would sooner have no phone than an Android phone.

          We have 4 newish iPhones in our family and the total cost for all of them together is just under £750.

          And I don't even like iPhones or Apple, but this is a small price to pay to avoid shitdroid.

          Going to try the new commercial Sailfish on a Sony XA2 and hope for salvation there.

          1. johnnyblaze

            Re: Overpriced kit

            Do you actually dislike Android, or just Google? Personally, I'd rather have no phone at all than an iPhone.

            1. werdsmith Silver badge

              Re: Overpriced kit

              Do you actually dislike Android, or just Google? Personally, I'd rather have no phone at all than an iPhone.

              It’s Android I detest, I think I said so plainly enough in my comment.

              And what phone you’d rather have is your business. I’m not concerned about other’s preferences, I was simply answering the earlier question “why pay more”.

          2. Scoured Frisbee

            Re: Overpriced kit

            > We have 4 newish iPhones in our family and the total cost for all of them together is just under £750.

            I bought my daughter a 6s for Christmas, the cheapest usable one I could find from a reputable vendor was us$200 - and it will be out of security in a year. (That said she doesn't have any money, so I'm expecting her to keep using it until something crazy happens.)

            But where'd you pick up 4 for £750?

          3. //DLBL SYSRES

            Re: Overpriced kit

            I’m sticking with Windows phones for as long they’re available. Picked a brand new Lumia 950 for £90 in December. It does more than I need. Can’t be doing with Android flakeware and Apple atttude is annoyingly arrogant.

        2. Ledswinger Silver badge

          Re: Overpriced kit

          for China a slowing economy has tended to mean growth dropping by a few percentage points to merely outstanding...

          Assuming you believe the official figures - I don't. You noted the misallocation of capital - that's been on a gargantuan scale, probably more than enough to eat up all foreign asset reserves & ownership. At the moment China is in the "pretend everything is OK" period, but eventually SOMEBODY has to take the hit. Could be the banks, could be the wealthy, could be corporates - but normally, as in the last "global financial criss" it is ordinary workers and tax payers who bail out the incompetence and greed of the rich. That can be done through conventional bail outs, or inflation, but only time will tell if that's an option for China.

          Even to achieve the officially reported levels of growth, China has on average borrowed an additional 32% of GDP every year for the past decade. Spare the money for a moment and consider that China consumed more cement in the three years 2011-2013 than the US did in the entire twentieth century. Infrastructure has always tended to be a poor financial investment, how much of that cement has been used to make concrete assets that will never pay off? And when mis-investment starts to show through, who will China borrow from to continue to make this pretence of unfeasible and steady growth?

          I'd grant you a consumption boom driven by debt leaves the US and UK similarly exposed, but "everyone else does it" is not now, and never has been a sound strategy. From a tech point of view, the whole world has a problem if China has a problem, unfortunately, the only good news (and its a pretty paltry form of good) is that most of the misinvestment exposure in China is to Chinese owners. What will become of the tech supply chain if China experiences problems? And if the regime uses even more of the Communist jackboot to avoid social unrest and political change, what then for the US tech sector that is reliant upon China as a cheap, stable manufacturing base?

          1. Radio Wales
            Flame

            Re: Overpriced kit

            Re: China consumed more cement in the three years 2011-2013 than the US did in the entire twentieth century.

            It this the reason we have a CO2 crisis? Or is it just the figure manipulation heat surplus?

            1. bombastic bob Silver badge
              Facepalm

              Re: Overpriced kit

              "CO2 crisis"? thanks for inserting _THAT_ topic. NOT.

              icon, because, facepalm.

            2. VikiAi
              Unhappy

              Re: Overpriced kit

              Hmmm. It is a pity that new cement formula (invented in Tasmania, Australia IIRC) that actually absorbs CO2 as it cures wasn't invented a decade or two earlier. Wouldn't have been a panacea for CO2 over-release, but it might have taken the edge off it a bit.

  3. razorfishsl

    He has sat on his ass for nearly a decade leaching of prior tech and now it's a surprise?

    So why the fuck is he being paid big money then... if he did not "see this coming"?

    Yep just run the shit into the ground... stick an LCD display for function keys , close the hardware, stop integration work with NVIDIA and call it innovation.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      RE: He has sat on his ass for nearly a decade

      Blasphemy!

      Blasphemy!

      Blasphemy!

      Cardinal Biggles, get the COMFY chair!

    2. Cavehomme_
      FAIL

      You forgot the notch!!! ;)

      A “brilliant” bit of design due to St Ives completely fecking up, so he turned it into a “feature” ffs, and they charged more for the cock up ffs. All the iDiots and iWannabees must have it now...

      1. Brenda McViking
        Facepalm

        What I don't get is why the retarded Android manufacturers keep bloody copying the stupid notch. I hate apple, I hate android manufacturers copying every frikkin useless apple "innovation" that the latest Jebusmobe implements. Just give me a non-locked down phone that I can use functionally.

        Oh, and bring back removable batteries. I hate forced-obsolescence more than I hate apple!

        1. bombastic bob Silver badge
          Happy

          "removable batteries"

          ack on removable batteries. who wants a $1000 'throwaway after 2 years' phone...

          my dumb phone has a replaceable battery, and it costs less than $50

        2. VikiAi
          Unhappy

          To be fair, if you buy a phone with the latest OLED display, it is going to need throwing out not much after that anyway!

    3. EveryTime Silver badge

      Ahhh, it's good that a few people remember how Apple has acted.

      Nvidia had an unquestionably better GPU a few years ago when Apple decided that it was too expensive. Apple switched to slower, power-hungry AMD GPUs, while increasing the end-user price.

      A similar situation occurred with the CPUs and chipsets. Apple changed from using the latest Intel chipsets to using ones a generation behind.

      If you are trying to project a premium image, users eventually resent paying super-premium prices for discount internals.

      1. Radio Wales
        Flame

        > Users eventually resent paying super-premium prices for discount internals.

        Do they? Do they really?

        I get the impression that the average iSommat buyer thinks along the lines of:

        If I buy the most expensive bit of kit on the market then a) I must be getting the very best available, and b) I can then show off - without crass bragging - that I can afford stuff that you can't!

        It stands to reason therefore, that any manufacturer producing such iStuff will eventually become contemptuous of their rather slow customers.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          My wife bought an iPhone on the grounds that it was so expensive that they would offer service if there was a problem. The fact that they may simply charge her again by claiming that there is damage that does not falll indside the warranty. It took a claass-acction lawsuit to get them to start offering to replace keyboards that were poorly designed for $275.

          Apple are getting an awfully easy ridde because of their emotional bond with their customers related to their high prices. If the trust in the apple brand gets eroded by class-action lawsuits Apple may find it hard to sell the products at their "hot air" prices.

      2. JohnFen Silver badge

        "If you are trying to project a premium image, users eventually resent paying super-premium prices for discount internals."

        I don't think this is true, for two reasons. First, people who are interested in buying "premium" stuff are primarily interested in impressing other people. As long as other people are impressed, it doesn't matter how good or bad the product actually is.

        Second, there's a well-known effect in marketing: if you have a crappy product, you can sell it cheap, or alternatively, you can make it pretty, mark the price up to silly levels, and sell it as premium. People who buy it will tend not to even admit to themselves that it's not so good, because that would mean admitting that they got taken -- and if it's something that they've been using to impress others with, they are also motivated to maintain the "this is awesome" fiction to them as well.

  4. T. F. M. Reader Silver badge

    "first year-over-year [revenue] decline since 2016"

    Did AAPL's YOY revenue really decline just 2 years ago? I am too lazy to check. If so then it is not even a surprise this time around, is it?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not even useful as a status symbol as old models looks so similar.

    The Huawei CFO incident is also connected to Apples decline

    1. Waseem Alkurdi

      as old models looks so similar.

      Driving up resale values.

      The Huawei CFO incident is also connected to Apples decline

      Interesting, but got proof?

  6. chivo243 Silver badge
    Meh

    Why can't I feel sympathy?

    its first year-over-year decline since 2016.

    1. Khaptain Silver badge

      Re: Why can't I feel sympathy?

      "Why can't I feel sympathy" Because the Schadenfreude is simply so strong ;-).

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Meh

        Re: Why can't I feel sympathy?

        I simply don't "feel" anything...

    2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: Why can't I feel sympathy?

      Because Apple is still reporting over $80 billion in revenue ?

      It's nice to hear that the Golden Boys are punishing Apple's stock price, but that is really just an excuse for some to pick up some of its stock for a bit cheaper. That stock price is going to go back up because when you're making over $80 billion a year, your boat is going to stay afloat for a loooong while.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "That stock price is going to go back up because when you're making"

        In the real world you won't be much worried. But in Wall Street world that doesn't count. If you don't grow enough each year you're doomed. Just look at how GM shares went up when the CEO fired thousand of workers and predicted dire times. Sure, she acted, but nothing ensures she did the right move and GM could go well... the whole shares market is just built on expectations - that's why we have companies publishing "targets" and judged on how well they hit them, etc. etc. Company actual products, market evolution, fundamentals, etc.? Who cares, too hard to analyze and bet upon. Give them something simple they can understand.

    3. HolySchmoley

      Re: Why can't I feel sympathy?

      >its first year-over-year decline since 2016

      Or, put another way:

      Its continuing year-over-year decline except for the 2017 blip.

      Who writes this stuff?!

  7. N2 Silver badge

    Let down by the people of China

    For not buying it?

    What an utter tool Tim Cook is, thats more than one up from 'youre not holding it correctly'

    Two important things for a sale: 1. It makes sense & 2. The price is right, that's why theyre not buying it.

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: Let down by the people of China

      But he didn't actually say that.

    2. chivo243 Silver badge
      Paris Hilton

      Re: Let down by the people of China

      @N2

      Tool - Tim Cook or Cock?

      Inquiring minds...

      1. N2 Silver badge

        Re: Let down by the people of China

        "Tool - Tim Cook or Cock?"

        A cock is useful, in both senses of the word.

  8. Ian Emery Silver badge

    Its worse than he is making out.

    As detailed across several HUKD threads, I have just spent 3 weeks in China, and NO ONE is using an iPhone; not even the older generations of phone.

    In 3 weeks I saw about a dozen iphones, all older models, and even then, it was only one of 2 phones the person had; and several were being used merely as media players in taxi's.

    One interesting person was dressed up in the full fake Givenchy etc; completely overdressed and inappropriate for the park we were in; she used her iPhone to take some photos of my daughter, but it went away as soon as she thought no one was looking, and a Huawei phone came out.

    In the main tech and phone shopping areas, Apple was almost non-existent, huge rows of local phone brands, without an Apple banner in sight; yes, they havent been allowed to sell current gen phones for a few weeks, but there was NOTHING. It wasnt until my last day that I saw one small outlet with any Apple products on display.

    The claims the price is too high dont work I am afraid, if the people want it, they will find a way to pay for it - or have you all forgotten the stories about people selling a kidney/lung to pay for one??

    The biggest warning signs were the launch reports; the queue at the Apple store to launch the phone were not only dismal, but the first dozen or so people were all professional queuers, who had expected to be selling their place to someone who wanted a phone - no one bought them out, so (if I remember correctly), it was no. 19 in the queue who was the first to buy.

    Apple are openly discounting phones in the US, and using hidden discounts with carriers in the UK (and probably everywhere else), to offer contracts at more realistic prices; but sales are still terribly slow.

    1. Def Silver badge

      Re: Its worse than he is making out.

      And yet China is still Apple's third largest market after the US and Europe. I guess it depends where you were too. I remember seeing a lot of iPhones in Hong Kong when I was there.

      1. Gene Cash Silver badge

        Re: Its worse than he is making out.

        > And yet China is still Apple's third largest market after the US and Europe

        Sure, but those numbers are probably a year old... I think it's only in the past 6 months or less that China's said no to Apple.

      2. SkippyBing Silver badge

        Re: Its worse than he is making out.

        'And yet China is still Apple's third largest market after the US and Europe.'

        What a country of >1 Billion people is its third largest market? Who'd have thought the population of the third largest market would equal the first and second largest added together.

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Its worse than he is making out.

          >What a country of >1 Billion people is its third largest market?

          Better to think of it as two countries of 100M in rich cities on the coast and 900M peasants in the fields.

          1. bombastic bob Silver badge
            Devil

            Re: Its worse than he is making out.

            yeah China has way too much economic disparity for it to be a big market for 'rich boy toys'.

            Henry Ford's thinking comes to mind, that those who build the cars ought to be able to afford to buy them. Predictable results in China. What are their assembly plant employees earning these days? And if THEY are considered "well off", I think Apple's marketing needs to take THAT into account.

      3. Ian Emery Silver badge

        Re: Its worse than he is making out.

        How long ago??

        iPhones were EVERYWHERE when I was out in the same area 4 years ago; people - even the street cleaners, - would turn their noses up at a domestic brand.

        Tell them you had a Xiaomi and they actually laughed at you and told you they were a crap make.

        Not any more.

        I look at SWMBO as a typical Chinese woman; 6-8 years ago she was using a iPhone 4S, then she switched to a Galaxy Note 4, had a good look at the latest Xiaomi, but eventually dropped a shed-load on a fully loaded Huawei Mate 20 Pro - didnt even consider buying a new iPhone.

  9. Steve K Silver badge

    Battery replacements - UK at least

    I got my 6S and my wife's SE (both 3 years old phones) batteries swapped out last week under the £25 deal.

    Every slot was taken right up to the end of the deal period, and talking to the staff in the Apple Store (Kingston, UK), the replacement scheme had been extremely popular.

    If that is representative then people are not perceiving that the new phones add significant value and their older iPhones still work fine, so £25 to restore performance and battery life is a no-brainer (as is the post-deal £79 replacement price to be honest) compared to the cost of the XR now that the SE is gone.

    However, the cheaper battery scheme has at least kept people in the Apple services (iCloud, iTunes etc.) universe so will have been a worthwhile investment for APple in that respect (notwithstanding the inertial effects if you have several iDevices in your household).

    1. mixerr

      Re: Battery replacements - UK at least

      You may or may not know, but any local friendly PC repair shop will replace an Apple battery for around £29 ... so no need to pay the swingeing £79 Apple are now charging.

  10. DrXym Silver badge

    Surprising people still buy iPhones at all

    They were never good value and at this point they're so far out of whack with what people would consider affordable that it must be impacting on sales.

    Unless somebody is locked into the Apple ecosystem, the price must be a strong disincentive especially when Android phones retail for a fraction of the cost and even flagship models are distinctly cheaper than Apple's offerings.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Surprising people still buy iPhones at all

      Interestingly I've just learned that my brother shifted to Android. This being the one who went Mac over 10 years ago when he got into software development and then went fully Mac + iPad + iPhone + Apple TV. Has been ever since - and I suspect will stay with Macs and iPads but the other two not so much. New iPhone prices are just ludicrous, when you consider how good something like the Huawei P20 Lite is at £200.

    2. Gene Cash Silver badge

      Re: Surprising people still buy iPhones at all

      > Unless somebody is locked into the Apple ecosystem

      There's yer magic words.

      I had to help a friend over Xmas, transferring from an old iPad (pro?) because Apple charges nearly $400 US to fix the dead battery, so he bought a new one instead. And the new one only does USB-C so I had to dig up an A-C cable for him so he could something-something itunes and transfer data.

      His family can't use laptops... oh no, they've **got** to have iPads. Oh well, his money, not mine.

  11. pavel.petrman

    Re "Idiot tax"

    Yes, Apple kit is overpriced. But the reality is that with smartphones one has to pay, one way or another - either on acquisition (Apple) or throughout the ownership (Android. I mean really "ownership" and not "usage", very many Reg articles attest to the fact that you don't have to actively use an Android thing for it to be able to spy on you). And the other tax costs much much more dearly than a thousand dollars once in four years.

    So in a situation where one can't choose not to have a smartphone the only alternative to being a Register's idiot is a modern, digital form of voluntary slavery. In which case I fail to see the reason to call Apple's customers idiots and leaving the voluntary useds* of Android without similarly derogative name.

    * Stallman has this one right: https://stallman.org/facebook.html

    1. David Nash Silver badge

      Re: Re "Idiot tax"

      The Stallman link seems to be about Facebook, not Android.

      It's perfectly possible to be careful about privacy on Android. Similary it's possible to be "owned" by Google and Facebook via Apple. What iphone user doesn't use Google maps or search?

      1. pavel.petrman

        Re: Re "Idiot tax"

        "It's perfectly possible to be careful about privacy on Android" - with geolocation on all the time? With wi-fi profiling on all the time? You see, the main problem is not Android itself, it's the collation of all the slurped data with your browsing profile (you don't need to have a Google account to be followed all around the Internet when you browse, but you have to have one with your Android and it takes a whole lot of active measures to prevent that being combined with data gathered from your desktop browsing). No Google competitor is getting even near that level of coverage.

        "What iphone user doesn't use Google maps or search" - you'd be surprised. If you need an example, I don't (to be precise, I use my old beaten smartphone only when there is no possibility not to use it). The main thing is having a choice. The problem with Google, compared to others, is that it's everywhere - 50 to 80 per cent of websites you visit "report" you to Google (sorry for the oversimplified language here - I believe if I used correct terms, I wouldn't need to explain at all. Once you understand how web pages are built together and look at your own traffic, its self explanatory), which is a position no other company has (Facebook tries hard, but they are at about 5 percent, depending on your browsing profile).

        And to your assertion that "Similary it's possible to be "owned" by Google [...] via Apple." - well, it is hardly similar possibility, you'd need to try hard and give it considerable effort to achieve the same level of coverage. Passively, simply not (photos, wi-fi data and geolocation, main sources of personal data, are per default much better guarded, and can be easily set up to be very highly secure against google access).

    2. Ramlen

      Re: Re "Idiot tax"

      We get it, you're an apple shill.

      Can you now please stop peddling the same boring mantra time after time?

      1. pavel.petrman

        Re: Re "Idiot tax"

        "We get it, you're an apple shill." well, you don't seem to get anything (which is a case in point with my opposition to the "idiot" in the term "idiot tax" as not being extended to other people as well).

        The thing is, there are situations and even whole lives in which one doesn't need to use a smartphone or have one on one's person, but they are rare. Requests to employers, for example, to limit the necessity of carrying a smartphone are quickly dismissed by people like you, who don't understand what's going on, and who take a smartphone being firmy attached to one's person as a preset fact of life (just like a TV set or two at home were a standard not even a decade ago, and one could meet a human being every day who simply wouldn't believe that other human does not have one at home at all).

        So if you take a step or two back, and try looking at the problem along the lines of "I don't want a smartphone on me all the time, but I'm forced to carry one for one reason or another", you are out of your black and white world of Android fanbois and, to use your own term, apple(sic) shills. (I understand at this point that it is very difficult to accept, or even imagine, that such a fellow human can exist at all, you needn't worry, vast majority of Europeans is like that). And in such a case there is a very poor and sad choice available - Android or Apple. And since you (and your thumb-uppers) consider personalised and on-topic rebuttals as a mantra, you lot are free to look up the explanation why Android is worse off in this scenario elsewhere in this forum.

    3. SkippyBing Silver badge

      Re: Re "Idiot tax"

      'And the other tax costs much much more dearly than a thousand dollars once in four years.

      I'm going to have to see some maths on that.

      1. pavel.petrman

        Re: Re "Idiot tax"

        "I'm going to have to see some maths on that." - please refer to the endless stream of articles about the Equifax hack here on The Register. Yes, personal data security can be compared to nuclear power plant safety - invisible thing, everyone relies upon it being done by a third party directly accountable to no-one (de facto, of course there are de iure responsibilities, which are of virtually no power even if excercised). It's just not many tax-payers ever calculated for themselves how much, for example, the Windscale story had cost. And as you see by the thumbs-up storm here, not many people consider their personal data of any value - now.

    4. Radio Wales

      Re: Re "Idiot tax"

      Can you really say all that with a straight face when ending with a link to Facebook?

      1. VikiAi
        Boffin

        Re: Re "Idiot tax"

        While the idiot you are replying to is certainly quit taxing, the link they provided is not to facistbook but to Stallman's page against it.

      2. pavel.petrman

        Re: Re "Idiot tax"

        Well, case in point about the idiots, as exemplified by your completely misinformed post - and getting thumbs up for it.

  12. irksum

    Aside from the high price, there's little reason for me to upgrade from my iPhone 6S which I'll probably keep until it no longer works and only then upgrade, at which point I may look at Android phones, though having said that, if the latest iPhones had a headphone socket then I'd be more likely to upgrade

  13. deadlockvictim Silver badge

    Hermès

    Tim Cook was simply pricing the top-of-the-range iPhone for those who buy in Hermès and the like. The Swiss sell watches for 3 times the price of the aformentioned top-of-the-range iPhone. I wonder if it wasn't expensive enough?

    This iPhone is supposed to be a status symbol. Given how important status symbols are in the Far East, I'm surprised that it didn't sell well.

    Maybe Apple needs to get the people [1] in the red-topped magazines aimed at women to brandish them as if they were Birkin bags.

    [1] One of them is called 'Posh Spice' apparently and if that isn't classy then I don't know what is. She is seemingly famous for her love of baubles.

    1. mark l 2 Silver badge

      Re: Hermès

      "The Swiss sell watches for 3 times the price of the aforementioned top-of-the-range iPhone"

      Yes but in another 15-20 years time, a well made Swiss watch that has been looked after will still hold its value and may have even increased its worth, unlike a $1000 iPhone which probably won't even switch on in 20 years.

      I am not saying there isn't a market for a luxury brand of phone, there are certainly people out there with the money to spend a $1000 on a phone. But Apple also need to consider the current owners of older and the SE models that have been left out of any affordable upgrade route. Many iPhone owners are young people who want iPhones because that is what *insert vacuous celebrity* has, but they can't afford to pay iPhone X prices.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Hermès

        Because luxury watches hold their value, you don't see them for sale second hand in dodgy shopping mall stalls.

        Once poor people are seen with a product, it has no brand value

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Hermès

        My 12 year old Omega SpeedMaster Moonwatch Professional resell value is actually higher than the price I originally paid, even taking inflation into account. How much is an used iPhone 1 valued today?

      3. fandom Silver badge

        Re: Hermès

        A cared for expensive swiss watch may eventually still be used by your grandchild.

        A cared for iPhone, not so much.

      4. N2 Silver badge

        Re: Hermès

        "Yes but in another 15-20 years time, a well made Swiss watch that has been looked after will still hold its value and may have even increased its worth, unlike a $1000 iPhone which probably won't even switch on in 20 years."

        I agree entirely, I have an ancient Tag, purchased about 1995. Despite the fact its been well worn, I could probably sell it for almost what I paid for it.

        So much for the Apple watch.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hermès

      "The Swiss sell watches for 3 times the price of the aformentioned top-of-the-range iPhone"

      And that phone will be handed down to the next generation. Swiss automatic movement means it'll probably still be working (as long as the mechanism has had movement). I can't see the same for an electronics device with 5-6 years of obsolescence in mind (battery life and limit on number of charges, software update slow down etc).

      I have a few proper watches and I love them - they are still working away. I also have a smartwatch which I know only has ~2000 charges in it before the non-changable battery will give up holding charge.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Hermès

        Except most makers of Velben goods don't rely on locking people into their infrastructure for ongoing revenue. Volkswagon aren't planning on making money from Veyron buyers paying a 30% mark-up on Bugatti petrol

        1. jimlenoodle
          Headmaster

          Re: Hermès

          *Veblen* goods. But, otherwise, completely agree with your point.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Veblen_good

    3. LucreLout Silver badge

      Re: Hermès

      The Swiss sell watches for 3 times the price of the aformentioned top-of-the-range iPhone. I wonder if it wasn't expensive enough?

      The problem with that is lifespan. My Swiss watch has already outlasted any iPhone you'll see in use, and is likely to give another 30 years of service (after which, I'll be dead). How many iPhones will you need in the next 30 years? 10? That's another £15,000 in idiot tax right there. Or, you could have 10 equivalent Android's, a Swiss watch, and £10,000 back in your pocket.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hermès

      "Tim Cook was simply pricing the top-of-the-range iPhone for those who buy in Hermès and the like"

      more like iphone is for chavs, every dumb as dirt idiot has an iphone

    5. commonsense

      Re: Hermès

      Fancy watches and Birkins are primarily fashion pieces. The ability to tell the time and carry stuff is incidental, and they don't do that any better than a Casio and a plastic shopping bag. That's why they can be priced as they are, and people will pay good money for them.

      The issue here is that a smartphone's primary purpose is to do stuff on, Apple or otherwise. The fashion bit of it is secondary - the cachet of holding an iPhone is not enough to sell the things anymore (at least not at the prices they're asking). Until Apple invent an iPhone that makes the tea in the morning, they'll have to get real about prices.

  14. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    I'd like to have his problems

    The decline has been long predicted (and even longer in coming) but the numbers are still impressive. This is because, even with the eye-watering price, they're still very good devices. The higher margins will certainly hold up the numbers for a while, as will increasing revenues from services. But, they're also proof of what some of us have been saying for a while: where's the innovation gone?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I'd like to have his problems

      "where's the innovation gone?!"

      It was never there in the first place...it was all hype and packaging....

      1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Re: I'd like to have his problems

        It was never there in the first place...it was all hype and packaging....

        If that was the case, then why should things change now? I've never owned an I-Phone and had a touchscreen smartphone before they came on the market, but there's no denying how much Apple influenced the market with them. Most notably, I think in encouraging the kind of apps we all now use. Yes, they bought in technology, but they also did lots of software themselves and also had a say in the hardware that was developed.

  15. confused and dazed
    Windows

    Choice

    While I must admit to enjoying the apparent "come-uppance" at Apple, I do regret this overall trend. I don't want to use Andoid. I don't want Google to know more about my life, but when my ageing iphone6 dies, I'll have to switch to Android. I sincerely hope Apple reverse their price gouging. As others have said, I'm well paid, but just will not pay their silly prices - even to avoid Android.

    1. Joe Harrison Silver badge

      Re: Choice

      There are plenty of Android phones you can buy which contain no Google things. So no worries of being snooped on by either Google or Apple.

      1. confused and dazed

        Re: Choice

        Is that true though ? Genuine question. My impression (perhaps simplistically) was that Android's primary purpose was to share information with Google ?

        1. JohnFen Silver badge

          Re: Choice

          It's true. Don't confuse Android with Google's infrastructure (Play, etc.). You can have one without the other. I do.

    2. Steve K Silver badge

      Re: Choice

      You don't have to switch if you don't want to - as long as you don't "need" the new features (such as they are).

      I recently bought a second-hand (64GB) 6S from Mazuma Mobile, which although in "Very Good" spec looks almost new to me - with a 12-month guarantee.

      When/if my 6S (with new £25 battery) conks out, I'll look at replacing it with a second-hand (or Refurb/Renew) phone from them (or a similar provider) or pick one up from the hight street shops that seem to have loads of decent corporate offloads for reasonable money.

      With the current high-profile campaigns against single-use plastics etc., I am surprised that this route is not gaining a higher profile or chosen by more (of those who care about it...) due to the energy-dense production processes involved in these devices (whether Apple/Android or not).

  16. MJI Silver badge

    Why use Paul O'Grady picture?

    Yes why?

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Apple have to realise the money is in the ecosystem and not the hardware before they have neither, they need to sell cheap crack before you pay for the expensive stuff so need to put out phones in the £200-£300 price range or they are toast.

  18. Fred West
    Stop

    Nobody in Europe wants them either.

    iPhone is pretty much US only, where they still seem to be brainwashed into thinking a $1000 phone on a contract somehow demonstrates "you made it".

    1. VikiAi
      Unhappy

      Re: Nobody in Europe wants them either.

      While the people who actually 'made it' are earning $1.50 an hour, 11 hours a day, 6 days a week.

  19. msknight Silver badge

    I was watching...

    Nightly Business Report this morning. They obviously reported on this, and the side note was that while this was true, it wasn't the whole story. I do know of my friends that use Apple devices, they're making them last longer and are now upgrading every three years.

    At the end of that episode of NBR, they did state that China's economy was slowing but because of the trade wars, they can't deploy their usual trick of devaluing their currency.

    I did also read elsewhere that Huwawe devices were being given away to staff (of some companies) for free, to spite and undermine Apple (read USA) in retaliation for the trade war.

    It does look like China is going to finally hit the economic buffers and isn't going to be left to cheat its way out this time. I wonder why that's the reason why Xi wants Taiwan more badly than ever before and is willing to send in the troops this time... for the economic boost it would bring.

    I do know that it's now only the hardest of my friends and colleagues who are buying everything Apple produces; the majority have discovered other things to spend their money on. ... like food !!!

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: I was watching...

      they did state that China's economy was slowing but because of the trade wars, they can't deploy their usual trick of devaluing their currency.

      The Renminbi has for years been appreciating against other currencies. It has fallen back slightly against the dollar over the last 12 months but so have many other currencies. The argument has been that even though the currency has appreciated, it's still been too cheap, but this has been contested for some time now, especially with respect to capital inflows.

      It does look like China is going to finally hit the economic buffers and isn't going to be left to cheat its way out this time.

      No it doesn't. The economy is much less dependent upon exports than it used to be and is in any case getting better at finding new markets: such as India, for phones at least. It was already cutting capacity (especially in steel and coal) before talk of a trade war with America started but since then the Chinese government has cut taxes and started new projects, something for which it has far greater scope than the US government. It also doesn't really need to worry about an electorate. The same can't be said of the US and Trump must obtain approval from congress of any trade deals he negotiates.

      1. msknight Silver badge

        Re: I was watching...

        China's projects aren't delivering.

        Latin American projects failing - https://money.cnn.com/2016/02/16/news/economy/china-latin-america-projects-fail/index.html

        One Road One Belt failing - https://foreignpolicy.com/2017/01/09/chinas-new-silk-road-is-getting-muddy/

        I hear the Africa investment isn't going too well either.

        They have a debt problem - https://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/jun/16/chinas-debt-is-250-of-gdp-and-could-be-fatal-says-government-expert - that isn't getting any better and the domestic property market has been rising above realistic levels and with the wage growth being significant and talk about American companies starting to migrate production back to the USA over the next ten years because of this... I don't see as rosy a picture as you.

        I have to admit that I was surprised to read of a domestic debt problem in China. I believed that their population was one of savers - https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-01-01/china-warms-up-for-2018-critical-battles-with-cooling-economy

        1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

          Re: I was watching...

          They have a debt problem

          Who doesn't? Have you seen the size of American debt both public and private? The advantage for the US is that, as long as the dollar is the reserve currency of choice, it can always borrow cheaply. Now all it has to do is decide on a budget. The advantage for the Chinese government is that it doesn't hold meaningful elections.

          Of course, the infrastructure projects are inefficient. The important thing for them, however, is that they are pumping money into the economy.

          The "belt and road" is mainly a very expensive PR and vote buying stunt. It was getting bogged down and then Trump started shitting on his friends: going back on the agreement with Iran was probably the biggest boost to Chinese soft power in years.

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

  20. StuntMisanthrope Bronze badge

    The value of time.

    Not bothered about the cost of the device at all, especially if someone else is purchasing it and I don't have to get involved. Do you have the extended warranty and four insurances, are you aware of various shop locations.

    Also if you've invested in MacOS, it is by far the best all round operating system unless you (nCost of users/sysadmins) and I cannot be bothered to jump through hoops, to sync all manner of things though iOS certificate management and ARM emulation or two native chips on Pro mobile models would be super. Proper colour support, CAD, Microsoft Productivity, Unix, terminal, most of the useful server tools, RDP, VNC, I could go on. In every other ecosystem there's either user problems at scale (there's no such thing as a power user) or user problems at micro-level.

    A phone is a phone is a phone. How much data do you have and how much do you like photography. #p910iwithblackberryconnect.de

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Once bitten, twice shy

    I've bought a bit of Apple kit over the years culminating in a MacBook Pro in 2014. That will be my last ever Apple purchase.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Once bitten, twice shy

      I wouldn't go that far. Some things Apple are ncie. I even expect to pay a bit - that's a bit - more for premium case contruction etc. I'd buy an iMac for instance, or an Apple Watch should it hit my fancy and if the price were OK. I did buy a Wacth as a present for someone this Christmas season. I bought my brother their least expensive phone recently.

      It's just that if you add any options, the prices are ridiculous. They gouge. They've gotten very gougy. Way too gougy. I think it works against them.

      If they could control themselves and price more reasonablely, I think they make more sales. How many new Mac minis will they sell now that the entry price is raised three hundred dollars or more? Are they pricing themselves out of their own markets? I guess we'll see!

  22. naive

    It is a miracle they sell anything at all

    I have seen iPhones priced at 1245 Euros in an Apple shop.

    That is a small fortune for something at which people will laugh in 3 years time.

    At least in Europe the amount of people able to afford these prices slowly is driven in extinction due to money greedy politicians.

    1. confused and dazed

      Re: It is a miracle they sell anything at all

      At least from the data I can find, this varies quiote a bit by country :

      UK 2018, ios 52%, Andoid 47%

      Germany 2018 ios 31%, Android 68%

      US 2018 ios 57%, Android 43%

  23. Kaufman

    When the middle class was beginning to grow rapidly in China just over 10 years ago, there was a shortage of iPhones. Back then they were more than happy to part with a $1000 or more each, but now there are so many choices, that they've just become more savvy. They consume one third of the value of all luxury items on the planet, so the cost is not the issue.

  24. Vanir
    Coat

    Apple?

    So the pips are at last being squeezed out?

    1. Korev Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Apple?

      No core of those puns please

  25. Andy 97

    iMessage and the perceived green bubble of fail..

    Unfortunately for Apple, China doesn't have enough market penetration of iOS devices for iMessage to have become as ubiquitous with their target demographic.

    1. Korev Silver badge

      Re: iMessage and the perceived green bubble of fail..

      Hasn't the world moved onto WhatApp (or similar)?

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: iMessage and the perceived green bubble of fail..

        Using WhatsApp means bending over for faecebook.

        Who even knows about Telegram, seems like a shady outfit too.

        1. Khaptain Silver badge

          Re: iMessage and the perceived green bubble of fail..

          If Telegram is Shady then Facebook is an absolute nightmare.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not only the phones ..

    .. The Mac mini is priced too high too.

    Sure, they modernized the thing a little bit when it comes to ports, but they reduced the standard storage from 500 GB in the late-2014 model down to a mere 128 in the new one (although it is an SSD). They reduced the standard CPU from i5 to i3 (although to give Intel - not Apple - Intel - credit, the new i3 is a performer). 'But upped the price by hundreds CDN. And before you point out that SSDs cost, I just bought a new 1TB SSD for $149 Cdn the day after Boxing Day which I put in one of my PCs.

    So will I be replacing my i5 late-2014 Mac mini with the new one any time soon? Hm .. there's no incentive at the thousand dollar price tag they have on it right now.

  27. Happy_Jack

    Ironic?

    It seems slightly ironic that Chinese consumers are not buying iPhones, but they are buying other Chinese phones instead.

  28. chivo243 Silver badge
    Boffin

    2nd hand - Free hand me downs

    Laughing all the way to the bank. Everything Apple in our house(20 or so items) has been *FREE* except, my wife has an iPhone SE we got from our ISP for €200. A colleague gave me an iPhone 5. I am looking to replace the battery in the near future. And for full disclosure, I've bought drives and RAM for said hand-me-downs. We may have €1000 in total tied up in our Apple Estate, not bad for 20 or so devices...

  29. Jay Lenovo
    Facepalm

    China is not the Scapegoat

    Tim needs to elaborate on why he thought China was going to increase their Apple iPhone consumption, despite:

    * An increasingly competitive smartphone landscape

    * An Apple price point set at a new all time high

    * New features that are rather ho-hum and don't uniquely address any particular Asian demand.

    Maybe if China manufactured the product, the multitude would better see the brilliance. Oops, guess that didn't work either.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh...

    Hopefully governments didn't pump a load of money into Apple shares over the last ten years as part of their QE plans then...

    Can I have an G for global recession please Tim?

  31. J J Carter Silver badge
    Windows

    He who laughs last...

    Still getting plenty of use from my Microsoft Lumia 950XL 32GB with premium Moxo cases I picked up from t'Bay for £165.

  32. J J Carter Silver badge
    Trollface

    The price is right!

    I'm sure the canny Chinese buyers will be spending $75 on the "5.8inch Goophone X XS Quad Core MTK6580 1G/8G Unlocked 4G LTE 4GB 256GB with sealed box" available from DHGate

  33. Speltier

    Eye Popping Price

    Apple almost but not quite jumped the shark on the pricing.

    We did not upgrade due to the eye watering price combined with no real new features other than a larger OLED (vs. X). Popped a new iFixit battery into the old 5S, added iCloud to the 5S, and even the old creaky low memory 5S is good to go on for another few years. Why is this? Because, unlike the nutty droid wankers, Apple actually updates their ecosystem firmware for quite a long time. Amortized over time (lots of shiny droids quickly becoming landfill because who wants a security hole vs. marching on with an iPhone), a single iPhone is actually more environmentally conscious and not much different in price. Rumor is that the next iPhone will have 3D imaging... that might make it worth considering, as the 5S is nearly end of support.

  34. Ian Emery Silver badge

    Ré China hitting the buffers.

    This talk has been going on for at LEAST 5 years, and yes, there were a lot of closed stores, nearly a 1/3rd in some of the big market arenas I visited; but if it is really that bad, it isnt showing up in the value of the Yuan, which is DOUBLE what it was against the £ a mere 10 years ago.

    Everyone I spoke to said the shop closures were because more and more people were shopping online - just like the rest of the world.

    1. Joe Gurman

      Re: Ré China hitting the buffers.

      Erm, using the pound as an international standard may be just a wee bit dodgy, particularly since sterling took a nose dive after the Brexit vote.

  35. spold Bronze badge

    Not even top 10....

    Ain't got the cachet any more (pretty much Huawei at that end) or the RMB price tag to match.

    Recent Chinese market rankings I have....

    1. Vivo (Chinese Dongguan - oh wait Huawei just opened up a new co-HQ there - other being Shenzhen)

    2. Oppo (also Chinese Guangdong)

    3. Honor - Huawei's lower market brand

    4. Huawei (I spoke to several of their senior management in Shenzhen - their objective was to be better than Apple not cheaper) - see previous one for cheaper

    5. Xiaomi - no surprise

    6. Meizu - also Chinese

    7. OnePlus - Shenzhen

    8. Lenovo - go on IBM have a cry

    9. Qiku - Shenzhen - anyone want a qiku one?

    10. Smartisan - Beijing

    Ummm. who is missing?

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    im on to them

    this whole digital communications thing is a scam. Trillions and trillions of terabytes are moved around but no resource is really used up apart from a little electricity.

    Its not like fossil fuels which will one day run out.

    All a scam that should cost a lot less per month. Someone should do the math on energy cost and equipment cost.

    No wonder they tack on sports and entertainment to confuse the issue.

  37. Moog42

    Alternatives are availble

    Just don't use their facial recog features it seems. https://www.theregister.co.uk/2019/01/04/photos_trick_smartphones/

  38. John Savard Silver badge

    Patriotic

    I vaguely remembered a news item about some high-priced foreign product which was selling well in China to the very rich as a status symbol, but then the government put it out that buying this product was unpatriotic, and sales tanked because nobody wanted to be seen with it.

    I don't, however, remember what the product in question was. Apparently it must not have been Apple, since that's not being cited here.

    EDIT: Ah. I remembered another detail, which let me look it up. Turns out the company in question was Dolce & Gabbana, and it wasn't just the Chinese government, they had somewhat put their own foot in it as well.

  39. 89724102172714182892114I7551670349743096734346773478647892349863592355648544996312855148587659264921

    Apple Tart Cooks Books?

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019