According to the Counterpoint Research Group, Apple’s iPhone 8 has regained the top spot in global sales for May amid rumours that Apple are to discontinue the iPhone X and iPhone SE.
Counterpoint’s survey showed that in April Samsung had taken the top two spots. Apple duly responded with a substantial summer marketing campaign and regained top spot with Samsung’s Galaxy S9 coming in second while the iPhone X came in third.
But, according to analysts at BlueFin Research, Apple will discontinue iPhone X and iPhone SE sometime this year to address, what they describe as ‘pent-up demand’ for upcoming phones such as iPhone 9, iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Plus.
BlueFin did not name their sources but said that upgrades to new iPhones in recent years had been ‘below historical patterns.’ BlueFin believes this has happened because of smartphone ‘size, cost and lack of differentiation from previous models’ and this ‘lack of upgrade activity’ has certainly played a part in the continued demand for this year’s handsets.
At its launch the iPhone X rushed to the top of the selling charts, but this did not last long with consumers tending to opt for the iPhone 8 instead.
Despite Apple CEO Tim Cook denying price was an issue there is no getting away from the fact that a £900 plus price tag was a significant factor.
He did acknowledge though that while the X Phone was far from a flop, it wasn’t the runaway success Apple had hoped for.
It’s a fact that, while the X hardware is technically far superior, the iPhone 8 gives customers everything they need and coming in a good £300 cheaper tended to clinch it.
Likewise, everyone is agreed the iPhone 8 is a near-perfect design and while the iPhone 8 Plus has the same imaging as the X, more endurance as well as £200 cheaper.
Apple has faced questions about the inventory of its X phone and claimed that the lower than hoped-for demand was a result of a component glut rather than an iPhone glut.
For manufacturers of technology products an inventory glut is a huge problem as the price of finished goods and their components are always falling. Apple has the scale to mitigate such issues, but it generally doesn’t cut the price of a phone until it has been superseded.
Despite the rumours Apple has remained bullish about the sales of the iPhone X, claiming the phone is wildly popular and they point to the company’s recent quarterly profits to bolster their argument.