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Will The iPhone X And iPhone 8 Be A Success For Apple?

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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INDUSTRY VIEW: Apple has unveiled the most expensive iPhone ever, with OLED display, Face ID and AR support. But will it work out for the company?

In the end, the huge leak at the start of the week was right. Apple unveiled three new smartphones, the iPhone X, iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, at its much celebrated event in California. 

The hope is that they will appeal to all Apple customers and help the device range enjoy another decade of success. 

But what do industry experts think? Is the iPhone X too expensive? Has Apple complicated its device range too much? 

Here’s what they had to say. 

iPhone X display

Ernest Doku, mobile expert at uSwitch 

“On the ten year anniversary of the iPhone, Apple was always going to have to move mountains with the latest versions of its iconic handset.As we reach a smartphone singularity of rectangular slabs, increasingly more homogenous in terms of looks and specs, customers are further away than ever from blind loyalty to the latest device.   

“The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus serve a suite of much-needed upgrades to the range boasting an improved display, faster processor as well as a return to the glass rear – all the better to introduce wireless charging for the first time. 

“The announcement of iPhone X to commemorate a decade of Apple innovation is definitely one for the fanatics, introducing an incredible high resolution screen, a dual lens camera with image stabilisation, and new ways to navigate with the loss of the iconic home button. 

“While it’s satisfying to see the new iPhones pack a slew of new features, boasting everything from a depth-sensing camera to the iPhone X’s Animoji animated emojis, Apple still faces a challenge in convincing both the uninitiated and long-term fans alike that these new devices are the true innovation the market has long needed.” 

iPhone X sensors

Ian Fogg, mobile and telecoms analyst at HIS 

“Apple has the best iPhone sales when a new model has a markedly different design. The iPhone X delivers a design unlike any other existing smartphone because the display is edge to edge on all four sides. The best the competition has achieved is on just three. 

“But Apple is hoping the later availability date for iPhone X will not affect iPhone 8 sales this quarter. Apple’s lower iPhone 8 pricing should limit the impact, but it remains a risk. iPhone X is the future of smartphone design, but it’s also available in the future too. 

“Keeping it quiet until a second product launch this autumn would simply alienate iPhone 8 purchasers and damage Apple’s business in the long run. Apple has made the right decision for its customers. They have a clear choice: buy an iPhone 8 or 8 Plus now and enjoy Touch ID, wireless charging and improved performance – or wait and spend more on iPhone X in a month’s time.” 

“IHS Markit expects demand will exceed supply for these new iPhone models because they represent the biggest step forward in iPhone design since the iPhone’s debut. iPhone X will set Apple up for exceptional iPhone performance in 2018 and into the iPhone’s second decade. And, just as with the original iPhone, every other smartphone maker will aim to copy and improve on Apple’s iPhone X design. In this, it is the true successor to the first iPhone.” 

iPhone Z design

Geoff Blaber, analyst at CCS Insight 

“Apple laid out a very competitive set of products as it celebrated the iPhone’s 10th anniversary.  

“The iPhone X and iPhone 8 models are very strong additions to Apple’s portfolio that address increasing competition from Samsung and others. Rivals will be watching how quickly Apple can meet demand for the iPhone X and begin to build margins on a new design with new components. 

“The iPhone X is the blueprint for the iPhone’s new hardware direction. An OLED display and the new design is likely to standard on future iPhone models, but Apple must first tackle the challenge of obtaining sufficient supply. The relatively high prices of the iPhone X are a necessary and important mechanism to control demand in the near term. 

“The iPhone X is a long-term investment by Apple that sets a template for the next generation of iPhone hardware. We expect OLED displays and the new design to become standard iPhone features for years to come. A staggered introduction of OLED technology and the new design enables Apple to steadily ramp up scale in its supply chain and maximise profits. 

“At $999, the iPhone X is priced to be a natural increment beyond the iPhone 8 Plus. The higher price of the 256GB variant adds a new ‘super premium’ product tier beyond the existing 256GB iPhone 7 Plus, which costs $969. It creates an aspirational “halo” product at the top of Apple’s growing iPhone portfolio.” 

Will You Get An iPhone X?

  • No, never (46%)
  • No, but maybe in the future (27%)
  • Yes! Shut up and take my money now! (20%)
  • Yes, when my contract is up (8%)

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Jeff Orr, research director at ABI Research 

“Why are there two distinct models in Apple’s iPhone portfolio? Apple has fallen victim to its own success. While the first iPhone model announced 10 years ago set Apple apart from other mobile phone makers as the pioneer in smartphones, its market leadership quickly diminished as hundreds of other companies introduced their own products. 
  
“How is Apple responding to these challenges? iPhone X establishes a new value level for Apple customers that want a premium, futuristic device. A new price point is also implemented to reflect the flagship nature of iPhone X.  

“A similar tiered smartphone offering already exists at Samsung, while other leading OEMs are expected to follow. This new class of iPhone affords Apple the opportunity to separate market and investor expectations. Low-cost iPhone solutions, such as the iPhone SE, can be prioritized for markets including India. iPhone X enhances the profitability for Apple smartphones, which will offset the downward price pressure and profitability at the low end of the market.” 

Quiz: How well do you know Apple?