One month on, are iPhone XS sales a success?

There was a definite lack of hysteria with the iPhone XS and XR launches this year. As we mentioned in an earlier article, the queues outside Apple stores didn’t seem as long or as plentiful, and now, during a recent earnings call, there wasn’t the expected level of granular detail about sales. They told investors that they would actually be providing less detail, no longer revealing how many iPhones or iPads were sold in the last quarter.  When combined with a disappointing forecast for the Christmas quarter, it caused shares to stumble.

Does this mean that Apple are struggling? No way. They’re still massively successful, and they could easily buy several islands with the loose change in their bank account. Likewise, they’re under no obligation to list how many devices they’ve actually sold – revenue and profit are more imporatny to investors. However, for industry-watchers and the media, it’s a sudden change which has led them to believe that figures are in fact down, and being hidden.

After all, if shipment numbers were great, they’d definitely be mentioning it, right?

So is the “smartphone plateau” hitting Apple now too? Have we reached peak smartphone and peak iPhone?

For Apple, they have some huge and hard-to-obtain benefits. Firstly is a hugely successful brand. It’s a powerful, respected and globally-recognised brand. It carries a sense of worth and a value. People have long been attracted to their products because of their design, their quality and the colossal support and backing.

But, with everyone now having a mobile phone, the trick is to appeal to existing owners. To make the newer model of the iPhone seem so much better than the last. Meanwhile, in China, the economy is becoming less stable. It’s here that the most significant customer base for the iPhone is located so sales aren’t expected to increase there. Statistics have revealed that while the sales of these XS has been higher than those of iPhone 8, they are still not as high as it was expected.

For some time, the Apple plan has been to attach a high price tag to their products. A high cost is usually associated with a high value and therefore high quality item. The higher pricing strategy has been working well over the years and has led to an increase in sales, however the cheaper XR is predicted to make more sales than any other iPhone released. Its production has already increased. It seems to indicate that people are starting to stop short of paying increasingly large amounts of cash, and are making arguably smarter decisions – getting the same Apple experience but at a cheaper price.

Another reason why the recent iPhone sales are perhaps not as big as was expected is that the lack of exclusive features. Other than the bigger screen, the XS and the XS Max don’t bring much to the table. Users feel that the phone is not much of an upgrade over other versions. There are hardly any feature differences from the iPhone X, which is slightly cheaper. They are so similar in design that you may not instantly see the differences between them either. Although the iPhone XS Max won an award for the best smartphone display, in real world usage, you really wouldn’t notice the difference since the iPhone X already has a pretty decent display.

Apple said that they used stronger glass and increased the number of drop tests, but the screen scratches just as quickly as it did before and you can spot these scratches only after a few days. This is a disappointing fact that most users expressed in their reviews.

However, it does give you higher performance with less power consumption thanks to a slightly faster processor.

But are these changes enough? They’re not enough to cause an iPhone X user to upgrade, not in my opinion. Even for those with an iPhone 8, I really don’t think it’s enough either.

So what to do? Apple looks to be suffering a similar issue to other smartphone makers. There’s now less “jumps” up the specification ladder. There’s less “leaps” in features, design and build. It’s all about polishing what is already good, and that, in turn, might mean that people hold onto their existing phones for even longer.

This article was written by Edusson professional writers.