Arthur J. Villasanta – Fourth Estate Contributor
Cupertino, CA, United States (4E) – Apparently still smarting from the dismal sales of the 2017 iPhones led by the iPhone X, Apple has all but admitted sales for its upcoming 2018 phones might not be as good as expected.
It’s told its Asian suppliers in Taiwan and China to manufacture 20% fewer components for its upcoming iPhones, a fact that confirms analysts fears the market remains tepid for its 2018 iPhones. This means Apple has taken a “cautious approach” this year, according to market analysts. In contrast, Apple in mid-2017 told suppliers to prepare for shipments of 100 million iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X phones.
Apple will introduce three new iPhones in the fall: the iPhone XI (or iPhone X2); iPhone X Plus, which is a larger version of the failed iPhone X, and iPhone X SE (or the iPhone 9), a cheap iPhone with an LCD display. The iPhone XI (that’s pronounced iPhone 11) will sport a 6.5-inch OLED display; the iPhone X Plus with a 5.8-inch OLED and iPhone X SE (or the iPhone 9) with a 6.1-inch LCD display.
Of the trio, the iPhone X2 is generating the most buzz because of its unique camera lens. This phone is expected to feature a “three lens” camera with up to x5 optical zoom. This magnification is a huge improvement over the 2x optical zoom in the iPhone X and iPhone 8 Plus. Experts claim triple lens cameras can significantly improve smartphone photography — but not to the level of DSLRs. The iPhone XI will likely have the dimensions and form factor of the iPhone X, which means the infamous notch will still be there.
Apple shipped 52.2 million iPhones during the first three months of 2018, an increase of only three compared to the same period a year earlier. It was expected to sell 53 million iPhones.
The Apple iPhone accounted for 42% of all the smartphones sold in the United States during the first quarter in a market that contracted by 11% year-on-year. Counterpoint Research, an industry analysis firm headquartered in Hong Kong, said Apple’s U.S. sales rose 16% year-over-year to a record 16 million units.
It also noted that all smartphone manufacturers sold a total of 38.7 million smartphones in the U.S. during Q1. This total, however, was 11% lower compared to Q1 2017 when 43.7 million smartphones were sold. Sales haven’t fallen below 40 million for the past three years, said Counterpoint.
The top ten selling smartphones in the U.S. during the first quarter were all high-priced models except for the Moto E4: Apple iPhone 8 (64GB); Apple iPhone X (64GB); Apple iPhone X (256GB); Apple iPhone 8 Plus (64GB); Apple iPhone 8 (256GB); Samsung Galaxy S8 (64GB); Apple iPhone 7 (32GB); Samsung Galaxy S8+ (64GB); Samsung Galaxy Note 8 (64GB) and the Motorola Moto E4.
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