Is iPhone X demand really weaker than anticipated?

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Demand for iPhone X has nosedived since the holidays, according to recent reports, which wiped $46 billion off Apple’s market value in under a week. But is that really true? Was Apple really anticipating sales of 40 million units in the second quarter of 2018?

Let’s take a more realistic look.

According to a growing number of analysts and news outlets, including the reliable Ming-Chi Kuo and big names like The Wall Street Journal, Apple cut iPhone X orders to 20 million units for Q2 2018. That’s supposedly half the 40 million it originally planned to produce.

But some say the notion that Apple would have ordered 40 million units to begin with is “idiotic.”

iPhone X was never going to hit 40M sales in Q2

Ryan Jones, an ex-Apple employee who now runs the team behind the Weather Line app for iOS, believes there’s “no way” Apple would have anticipated sales of 40 million units in Q2.

“Q2 sales for the last two years were 51.1M and 50.8M,” Jones noted on Twitter. “So 40M seems idiotic for just iPhone X.” It would mean that iPhone X accounted for 80 percent of total iPhone sales, which seems unlikely given its hefty price tag.

The 20 million units Apple has reportedly dropped its orders to would account for 40 percent of total sales, which sounds about right, Jones adds.

“Let’s just use our brains,” he continues. “iPhone X is probably 33-50% of all iPhone sales. Recent Q2 sales were 61M, 51M, 50M. If Apple forecasted 40M iPhone X, that would be 65-80% of sales to the highest end model. In Q2.”

“Nope.”

Apple probably didn’t reduce orders at all

Apple probably hasn’t reduced iPhone X orders at all, then. And if it has, it seems incredibly doubtful that they were halved from 40 million units. It seems Apple would have been crazy to ever anticipate that it would sell that many $1,000 handsets right after the holidays.

“These bullshit reports of Apple reducing production of new iPhones happen every January,” notes John Gruber of Daring Fireball. “Same thing will happen in a year, guaranteed.”

We’ll have to wait until Apple confirms its Q2 earnings to find out exactly how well iPhone X is performing. Launch sales will be revealed in the company’s Q1 report later today, but we’ll have to wait a few months to see if rumors of a nosedive are at all accurate.