5 Reasons Shoppers Are Skipping iPhone X

Apple's iPhone X might not be selling as well as expected.

Credit: Tom's Guide

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Several analysts have cut their outlooks on iPhone X sales, citing lower-than-expected demand, Bloomberg reports. Sinolink Securities analyst Zhang Bin said on Monday that Apple could sell 35 million iPhone X units in the first quarter, a drop of 10 million from prior estimates.

Another firm, JL Warren Capital, said shipments would slump from an expected 30 million unit sales to 25 million. JL Warren Capital said it's witnessing lower-than-expected orders from suppliers, suggesting demand might be weak.

"Bad news here is that highly publicized and promoted [iPhone] X did not boost the global demand for iPhone X," JL Warren Capital wrote in a note to investors, according to Bloomberg.

MORE: 7 Reasons to Buy the iPhone X, and 4 Reasons to Skip

Even Apple itself is finding that demand might not be so strong and cut its forecast for first-quarter shipments from 50 million units to 30 million units, Bloomberg reported, citing a report from the Taiwanese Economic Daily News.

So, what's happening and why might iPhone X sales be sluggish?

Here are five possible reasons:

1. The Prices Might Be Too High

According to both Sinolink Securities and JL Warren Capital, Apple has a pricing problem. The analysts told their investors in a note that they believe Apple's iPhone X pricing is too high and is pushing customers away to other products. Some studies released earlier this year, however, suggest the iPhone X's price — which starts at $999 — didn't turn away early adopters.

2. Where Are the Innovations?

The analysts also said in their note that innovation is lacking in the iPhone X. While the phone might come with a new design and be the first Apple handset to deliver Face ID scanning, they wonder whether there's enough new and cutting-edge stuff in the handset to actually justify its price and attract customers.

MORE: 2017's Most Innovative Tech

3. Strong Competitors

According to Bloomberg, Apple is expected to face strong competitors in the early part of 2018. The investors said in a note that Samsung has come a long way in attracting more customers to its devices, creating more problems for Apple. Samsung is currently working on the Galaxy S9, with that phone likely to arrive as soon as February.

Additionally, in critical markets, like China and emerging countries, Apple is finding that competitors like Huawei, Oppo, and Xiaomi, are doing a good job of coaxing its customers to their side.

4. Some AR Wow

The analysts told their investors that Apple's push into augmented reality is a little half-baked. While the feature might deliver new technologies in the future, Apple's iPhone X is hobbled by a general lack of apps that can deliver the "wow" factor that augmented reality could and perhaps should deliver at some point in the future. Better AR apps, in other words, could attract more customers.

MORE: Best AR Apps for iOS (So Far)

5. iPhone 8 Might Be Good Enough

Although iPhone X sales might not be as strong as Apple and the analysts believed, the company might not be in trouble. Instead, the analysts believe that Apple's cheaper iPhones, including the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, are attracting a wide range of customers who still want an iPhone but don't want to pay the $1,000 or more for the iPhone X.

Don Reisinger is CEO and founder of D2 Tech Agency. A communications strategist, consultant, and copywriter, Don has also written for many leading technology and business publications including CNET, Fortune Magazine, The New York Times, Forbes, Computerworld, Digital Trends, TechCrunch and Slashgear. He has also written for Tom's Guide for many years, contributing hundreds of articles on everything from phones to games to streaming and smart home.

  • Sintjago
    $600 dollar phone sold at a $1000 dollars. Just yesterday, I could have bought on Ebay a Samsung S8 with only a minor crack in the glass, fully functional, for $180. It was as really good deal but its not that difficult to find similar deals for less than $300. Why would someone pay $1000 for a device that doesn't do much more than another device that costs only a fraction of the cost. It will sell a lot better once it is heavily discounted. Early sales dont matter much because those are Appleheads or people that want a status symbol. Some of those even paid $1500 for the iPhone X on Ebay when it was sold out, but those are not enough people to sell as many units as they want to sell.
  • draw8962
    As we enter the age of overwhelming technologies & understanding their features Apple has lost this edge. Soon Apple will go the way of my favorite phone manufacturers BlackBerry.
    Android on Apple handsets.
  • WhyKlef
    I am no Apple fan, my last iPhone was the 4 and although I considered it, I now rock a Note 8 and very VERY happy with it. That being said, I established not being Apple's biggest fan BUT this article is somewhat misleading. Sure, you pull out facts but truth be told, you could simply state the last of the 5 arguments. Apple is essentially creating a foolproof, well known, that Apple used before, sale strategy.

    Release an overpriced, overblown, not that impressive, super prestigious high-end new product to your existing product line to make the "one under" product sell considerably more.

    This way, iPhone 8 and 8+ feel like a much better deals when in fact, they are not. But sure, should you wish to create some fairy dust article with no actual weight, that is Tom's Guide business, not I.

    iPhone X is an NVidia Titan XP.
  • shadfurman
    Apple still is the fastest phone on the market and it's well designed.

    I think Apple has lost its way. In their resurgence in the late 90s, they were focused on giving customers what they didn't know they wanted.

    Starting around 2010 they turned into a fashion design company, started removing features customers knew they wanted, price increased, quality didn't really decrease IMO, but for the price it was much more noticeable.

    The comparison to the iMacs removal of the floppy isn't remotely comparable. The iMac was $300 and meant mostly for surfing the internet. I don't care about the headphone jack, but starting with the 2012(?) Mac pro they started removing functionality without a replacement. Only one usb port on a MacBook is fine if its $300, not if its $1800, they've been selling entirely off brand momentum for a few years now.

    They don't need a new innovation, (which they do have, I've never seen wireless ear buds that small) Ives needs to get his head out off his ads, regardless of how great he thinks his shit smells, and give customers what they want, and figure out how to make that sexy.

    The thing about iPhone products as a status symbol, you inherently don't sell as many, that's what's happening to iPhone. It's turning into an ugly overpriced handbag company, of electronics.