On Tuesday 12th September 2017 Apple unveiled their latest smartphone models – the iPhone X (pronounced “ten”) alongside two iPhone 8 smartphones. The event also unveiled the latest Apple Watch Series 3 smartwatch as well as the Apple TV 4K set-top box.
Apple’s iPhone X was made the central feature of the event – to mark the company’s 10th-anniversary smartphone – offering a 5.8-inch OLED screen, removal of the physical home button, facial recognition technology, longer battery life and an improved rear camera.
Overall, Apple’s iPhone 8 smartphones have received moderately positive reviews from technology and Wall Street analysts alike. However, the launch of new flagship iPhone X this week has left tech enthusiasts and the financial markets dissatisfied across the board.
Although the new products did offer some innovations, the sentiment has been that the changes are marginal at best – and as the expectation was for something revolutionary from the tech titan this has created disappointment. Consequently, this week Apple (AAPL: NSQ) shares took a tumble immediately after the annual event.
AAPL: NSQ – Apple shares dipped almost 3 percent in trading following their annual announcement event
1) Confusing Name
Along with the iPhone 8 and the iPhone 8 Plus, Apple decided to launch a new ‘Pro’ handset that is confusingly called the iPhone X, but pronounced iPhone Ten – marking the tenth anniversary. The use of the roman numeral X rather than the standard numeric 10 has left many confused.
In addition, this naming has also has had the negative effective of leaving potential iPhone 8 buyers feeling like their model is already outdated.
2) Too High Price
Starting at a price of $999, the iPhone X is Apple’s most expensive smartphone to date. As it has broken outside of the usual numbered series, Apple have priced the handset far outside the usual range.
However, experts and enthusiasts are commenting that the iPhone X does not offer enough additional functionality and differentiation in features to justify the new $999 starting price.
At about $230 more than the current iPhone 7 Plus, the iPhone X far exceeds all other handset costs – with the entry price for the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus going higher than the 7 Plus by only $50 and $30, respectively. This strategy could prove risky as it may be off-putting to general consumers.
3) Alienates Current iPhone Users
The iPhone X has incorporated a number of user interface changes around the screen and user interface – for example, a change in the gestures needed to control the device. Both the software and hardware changes leave the iPhone X a little haphazard and disorienting for users of the previous iPhone models.
4) Lack of Innovative Design
Although the iPhone X does include a number of updates that are not included within the new iPhone 8 models, the overall design changes have left commentators feeling a little flat.
There was a lot of hype about the new models – but the changes included seem obvious and pedestrian. The switch to the OLED screen and other changes made have not lived up to the fanfare of anticipation that preceded the event – especially given that Samsung has been fitting OLED screens at high resolutions for several years.
Another design drawback has been that, in percentage terms, the Samsung Note 8 still offers more display screen area than the iPhone X.
Although the iPhone X has been an anti-climax for many enthusiasts, overall iPhone sales are expected to continue at a strong rate of growth for the next 3 years. With a giant customer base, revenues are expected to grow consistently, albeit, not necessarily with a major share from iPhone X sales.
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