Going out on a limb... the iPhone X won't be nearly as constrained as predicted!

Brookzy

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Long post incoming, but I think it's worth it.

It's been taken as a universal truth that the iPhone X will see shortages like no Apple product has before. MacRumors has written no fewer than nine articles about its predicted scarcity, the forums are alight with people assuming it will be impossible to obtain, and every analyst around, from podcasters to Ming-Chi Kuo, are expecting shortages until next year.

But in all the effort to interpret the tea leaves of the supply chains, and panic over low yields of the TrueDepth camera system (which, let's not forget, the same analysts didn't think would even exist just a few months ago when they were still rambling on about in-display Touch ID), there are so many obvious positive signs that have been missed:

The press release
The press release is a treasure trove of hidden information when you remember that every word of it is laboured over, and Apple often foretells us of product shortages using their press releases.

Remember the Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard, which faced a 4-5 week backlog almost immediately? Well, Apple foretold:
We have limited supply of Apple Pencil and the Smart Keyboard in Apple Retail stores. Our stores will continue to receive regular shipments.
Remember AirPods, which faced 6 week delays almost immediately? Again, Apple foretold:
AirPods will be shipping in limited quantities at launch and customers are encouraged to check online for updates on availability and estimated delivery dates. Stores will receive regular AirPod shipments.
And finally, remember iPhone 7:
Beginning Friday, limited quantities of iPhone 7 in silver, gold, rose gold, and black will be available for walk-in customers at Apple retail stores. During the online pre-order period, initial quantities of iPhone 7 Plus in all finishes and iPhone 7 in jet black sold out and will not be available for walk-in customers.
Now, studious observers will be screaming that this last warning was issued after pre-orders began - a point yet to be reached for iPhone X - but still, this year is different due to the long gap between announcement and availability, compared with the two week gap last year. There has been plenty of time - and plenty of incentive - for Apple to warn customers, their investors, and their retailers officially that supply will be particularly bad this year, but that hasn't happened.

The roll-out
The press release also tells us where devices will be available and when. The sooner it rolls out worldwide, the better the supply is. That much is obvious, because in an ideal world Apple would love for their new iPhone to be available in every shop in every corner of the Earth on day one: it means more are sold.

Here's some history on iPhone roll-outs:
  • iPhone 6 was available in 10 countries and regions on day one.
  • iPhone 6s was available in 12 countries and regions on day one.
  • iPhone 7 was available in 29 countries and regions on day one.
  • iPhone 8 was also available in 29 countries and regions on day one.
So what about the iPhone X? It's going to be so constrained, it must be just a few major markets, right?

No. It will be available in 57 countries and regions on day one. 57! That's totally unprecedented. And on what is meant to be the most constrained Apple product ever? It just doesn't make sense.

The cost
This thing is seriously expensive. End of point. :p

The time

Apple has given themselves a long time between announcement and pre-order and availability when you consider the rate at which Apple can ramp production. Most new iPhones come in to supply-demand balance in less time than Apple has given themselves this year.

A fixed availability date
Remember iPhone 7 Plus in Jet Black? That was an availability minefield. I think it is agreed now that not a single one was delivered on September 16, 2016 - i.e. the release day. But Apple could still claim September 16 was the release date because other colours did deliver on that date.

But the same doesn't apply to iPhone X because some number of them must be available November 3, otherwise that couldn't be the launch date.

So the many people comparing the iPhone X to the Jet Black Plus... it simply cannot be as bad as that was.

What was the delay for then?

If my theory is correct, and supply won't be so disastrous, why are we waiting until November before these things ship?

I think it's largely due to the software for Face ID.

Today's iOS beta added more features for Face ID that were announced at the start, e.g. attention detection, and the embarrassing Face ID incident with Craig (yes, it worked as intended, but the lock-out experience clearly needs some work and a better UI!), and lack of live Face ID demos for the press look to me as signs that it isn't at 100% yet from the software side.

To be clear... I'm not saying it won't sell out. Of course it will. It could easily slip to 3-5 weeks on pre-order day like lots of other iPhones have. But I think 1) those ordering in the first few minutes will get one on launch day, and 2) those wanting one for Christmas won't be disappointed.

End of rant. I'm interested in your thoughts. :)
 
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Tthomas612

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Aug 24, 2013
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I’ll go one step further and say that I believe some iPhone X will be available for walk in customers on November 3rd.

57 countries is unprecedented and joy don’t roll a phone out in 57 countries without supply...

Again I could be wrong, but I just don’t think they’d be rolling out in 57 countries without supply...
 

JPack

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Mar 27, 2017
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The supply constraints are mitigated by the lower demand. Most surveys show users aren't interested in buying the iPhone X.

The most recent RBC survey indicated the percentage of people interested in purchasing the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus was about double the iPhone X.

1. High cost of iPhone X at $999.
2. For most consumers, iPhone X doesn't do anything new compared to iPhone 6 or 6 Plus.

MacRumors posters might be crazy over the iPhone X, but the average person isn't.
 
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Tthomas612

macrumors 65816
Aug 24, 2013
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The supply constraints are mitigated by the lower demand. Most surveys show users aren't interested in buying the iPhone X.

The most recent RBC survey indicated the percentage of people interest in purchasing the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus was about double the iPhone X.

1. High cost of iPhone X at $999.
2. For most consumers, iPhone X doesn't do anything new compared to iPhone 6 or 6 Plus.

MacRumors posters might be crazy over the iPhone X, but the average person isn't.
This is the most sensible post I’ve seen on this forum in a long time. This is what Most people In this forum DONT realize. Just because they WANT the X doesn’t mean that the mom walking in with 2 teenage daughters is going to buy the X... the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus will be the phone in more people hands...
 

Statusnone88

macrumors 68000
Jun 19, 2010
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I’ll go one step further and say that I believe some iPhone X will be available for walk in customers on November 3rd.

57 countries is unprecedented and joy don’t roll a phone out in 57 countries without supply...

Again I could be wrong, but I just don’t think they’d be rolling out in 57 countries without supply...
This is it right here.

And maybe I’m not remembering correctly, but I don’t think I’ve seen this much marketing from Apple in the past.

The commercials, the almost 2 month “hype time”, the banners and billboard advertisements, the excessive amount of phones out in the wild before release...

Apple has the most brilliant marketing team in the industry. They know how to sell a product. And if they know they’re pushing it with the price of this device, they’re going to kick their efforts into high gear to try and sell this phone.
 

jamesrick80

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Sep 12, 2014
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I somewhat agree. I think its just a marketing ploy though. It will end up selling like hotcakes as usual. Also, iOS 11 will magically improve once the iPhone X is released and people will be like Wow. Its just Apple's continued way of tricking its buyers to believe their phones have true purpose and furthermore proving my theory of the artificial slowdown of iOS devices to enhance the sells of the latest and greatest.
 
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terminator-jq

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I agree 110%. The majority of preorders will go to die hard Apple fans with the larger storage options being the first to sell out. Silver will most likely be the hardest color to get. An unlocked 64gb in Black will probably be the easiest SKU to buy. I'm pretty sure that the majority of people who are willing to stay up to midnight and willing to part with $1000 will be able to get one within a reasonable amount of time.
 

JPack

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Mar 27, 2017
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This is the most sensible post I’ve seen on this forum in a long time. This is what Most people In this forum DONT realize. Just because they WANT the X doesn’t mean that the mom walking in with 2 teenage daughters is going to buy the X... the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus will be the phone in more people hands...
For the average person, the iPhone X doesn't offer any killer features. The X is a refinement with better biometrics, better cameras, and a more compact form factor.

The iPhone 6 was a historic product because people were coming from iPhone 4 and 5. The 6 offered a bigger display, HDR camera, VoLTE, and Apple Pay.

Consumers now using iPhone 6 and 7 are asking what the X does their existing phone doesn't.
 
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flat five

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Consumers now using iPhone 6 and 7 are asking what the X does their existing phone doesn't.
front facing portrait modes.. animojis..

i think you might be under estimating how want_able those two features alone will be to a sizable amount of people..

those two features will be a lot more desirable than this forum may lead you to believe.. people here may want it for other reasons.. people out there have different reasons.
 
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Cryates

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Nobody really wants animoji lol

And it’s certainly not a feature that will make your average consumer want to spend $1k

Not to mention it’s restricted to only iMessage. Now if people could tweet/snap/etc an animoji it might be a different story.
 
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KingslayerG5

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front facing portrait modes.. animojis..

i think you might be under estimating how want_able those two features alone will be to a sizable amount of people..

those two features will be a lot more desirable than this forum may lead you to believe.. people here may want it for other reasons.. people out there have different reasons.
That's catered for children and teenagers like the funny faces Snapchat offers. And most of them don't have a $1000 to spend on a phone unless they ask their parents for one.

Just because the X will be released in 57 countries doesn't mean it will have enough in stock for the country you are in. In fact, it may thin it out more. But I like the OP's enthusiasm.

It generally is a rat race to get the X THIS year (and to some to scalp it) but everyone knows Apple will milk the new design over and over like they have done before. HTC was no different with the One M7 design and Sony with Omnibalance since the Xperia Z. New design after three years always excites a demographic but future iPhones will look just like the X and become cheaper too. X is just a beta testing "tick" model filled with -gate issues that will get sorted out with next year's model. Early adopters are just being used as guinea pigs while paying the most for it because the privilege of owning it first before people you know is what matters to them.
 

flat five

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Nobody really wants animoji lol
maybe nobody here.. (though i imagine some people here do want it)

And it’s certainly not a feature that will make your average consumer want to spend $1k
we'll see...

Not to mention it’s restricted to only iMessage. Now if people could tweet/snap/etc an animoji it might be a different story.
you can.. at least on snapchat.. or, you'll get better face mapping when using snapchat.
c.Federighi even demo'd that during the keynote.

enhanced abilities will likely come shortly in other apps as well.
[doublepost=1508205998][/doublepost]
And most of them don't have a $1000 to spend on a phone unless they ask their parents for one.
well, many of them have $50 per month to spend on a X.
[doublepost=1508206199][/doublepost]
That's catered for children and teenagers
i think you're missing the key demographic of who's being catered to with these features..
--> Females
all of them.

---
edit-- for clarity-- by 'all of them' i mean all ages.
 
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Cryates

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you can.. at least on snapchat.. or, you'll get better face mapping when using snapchat.
c.Federighi even demo'd that during the keynote.
Nope, the snapchat thing was definitely not animoji. And the face mapping, while better obviously, is not a $1k improvement for 99.5% of snapchatters.
 

KingslayerG5

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maybe nobody here.. (though i imagine some people here do want it)


we'll see...


you can.. at least on snapchat.. or, you'll get better face mapping when using snapchat.
c.Federighi even demo'd that during the keynote.

enhanced abilities will likely come shortly in other apps as well.
[doublepost=1508205998][/doublepost]
well, many of them have $50 per month to spend on a X.
A teenager with no job has $50 to spend monthly on another iPhone X that will likely get replaced in another 10 months. Hmmm...

The iPhone X is expected to sell 130M in two years. It will sell about 90M after one year. Everyone and their dog will own one similar to owning a late-2004's Motorola RAZR V3 by 2005-2006. The only reason why some are rushing to buy it is the special 10th anniversary even though it will pour more into its 11th birthday, new design after four generations of the same-looking iPhones, many people are due for an upgrade, and the feeling of owning it before everyone else. That temporary rush winning a rat race like what we saw in Jingle All The Way. I remember the RAZR going for $400 as a fashion phone only to be offered $50 or free with contract 18 months later.

The iPhone X is this decade's Xbox 360/PS3 eBay resellers. I like the iPhone X mainly for the gesture swipes reminiscent of webOS, QNX/BB10, and Meego/Sailfish. But after awhile thinking about it, I realized I prefer the tock models with more refinements and cheaper price. Wished it had 4gb of RAM. Apple is hyping it like crazy because they want to move as much $1000-$1200 iPhones as much as they can until three years later you can pick up an X for $200. No matter how limited it is early on, the iPhone X will be in the market for a minimum of three years. This is similar to how low stock the original Sony PS2 was until it eventually sold about 130M models and become the most popular console ever.

The iPhone X by 2019 before Star Wars 9 is even released will be the best-selling smartphone of all-time. No rush for some people who have seen the same level of hype and shortages before on other products (Nintendo, Sony) before they improve it again after a year or two.
 

macrumorsperson

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maybe nobody here.. (though i imagine some people here do want it)


we'll see...


you can.. at least on snapchat.. or, you'll get better face mapping when using snapchat.
c.Federighi even demo'd that during the keynote.

enhanced abilities will likely come shortly in other apps as well.
[doublepost=1508205998][/doublepost]
well, many of them have $50 per month to spend on a X.
[doublepost=1508206199][/doublepost]
i think you're missing the key demographic of who's being catered to with these features..
--> Females
all of them.

---
edit-- for clarity-- by 'all of them' i mean all ages.
Reporting for sexism.
 
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flat five

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A teenager with no job has $50 to spend monthly on another iPhone X that will likely get replaced in another 10 months. Hmmm...

The iPhone X is expected to sell 130M in two years. It will sell about 90M after one year.
and who are these 100 million people?
a bunch of nerds who sit around online arguing about phones and computers?
highly unlikely.

my original response was aimed at this vibe:
MacRumors posters might be crazy over the iPhone X, but the average person isn't.

and my argument is that MacRumors posters do not represent the average iPhone owner... we are not even close to representing the average buyer.

if the sentiment above were true.. that we were the ones going crazy but the average person isn't then there'd be maybe 10million iPhones in circulation.. that's the slice we represent.

the rest of the buyers.. the majority of the buyers.. will buy for reasons sometimes not voiced around here. or for reasons that are mainly ridiculed around here..


-----
as to the other thing.. $50/month for jobless teen? easily.
$20/week allowance will cover that.. no problem


--------------------------------
[edit]
ok, so a quick search finds other, more reputable outfits than myself, saying similar :

https://www.theverge.com/circuitbreaker/2017/9/13/16294808/apple-iphone-x-selfie-camera-snapchat-filter

Diehard Apple fans track processor upgrades, Apple-made GPUs, and additional hardware, but Apple knows all it needs to do to sell phones is continue to make ones that take better selfies than last year's model. The iPhone X epitomizes that strategy more than any iPhone before.





-
[doublepost=1508209698][/doublepost]
Reporting for sexism.
make sure to report @Apple as well.. ;)

Screen Shot 2017-10-16 at 11.03.19 PM.png
Screen Shot 2017-10-16 at 11.02.51 PM.png

Screen Shot 2017-10-16 at 11.02.59 PM.png


---------------------------------------------------------------

what features get target marketed at dudes?

the same freaking ones we sit around these forums arguing about.
LOL

Screen Shot 2017-10-16 at 11.06.30 PM.png

Screen Shot 2017-10-16 at 11.05.58 PM.png
 

JPack

macrumors 601
Mar 27, 2017
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front facing portrait modes.. animojis..

i think you might be under estimating how want_able those two features alone will be to a sizable amount of people..

those two features will be a lot more desirable than this forum may lead you to believe.. people here may want it for other reasons.. people out there have different reasons.
https://www.macrumors.com/2017/10/02/iphone-x-survey-rbc/




As for jobless teens interested in Animoji on the iPhone X?

Most teens don't even have a $500 secured credit card, much less qualify for financing a $999 iPhone and wireless service. So, no, that $50/month scenario doesn't work in reality.
 

LoveToMacRumors

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Feb 15, 2015
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Long post incoming, but I think it's worth it.

It's been taken as a universal truth that the iPhone X will see shortages like no Apple product has before. MacRumors has written no fewer than nine articles about its predicted scarcity, the forums are alight with people assuming it will be impossible to obtain, and every analyst around, from podcasters to Ming-Chi Kuo, are expecting shortages until next year.

But in all the effort to interpret the tea leaves of the supply chains, and panic over low yields of the TrueDepth camera system (which, let's not forget, the same analysts didn't think would even exist just a few months ago when they were still rambling on about in-display Touch ID), there are so many obvious positive signs that have been missed:

The press release
The press release is a treasure trove of hidden information when you remember that every word of it is laboured over, and Apple often foretells us of product shortages using their press releases.

Remember the Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard, which faced a 4-5 week backlog almost immediately? Well, Apple foretold:


Remember AirPods, which faced 6 week delays almost immediately? Again, Apple foretold:


And finally, remember iPhone 7:


Now, studious observers will be screaming that this last warning was issued after pre-orders began - a point yet to be reached for iPhone X - but still, this year is different due to the long gap between announcement and availability, compared with the two week gap last year. There has been plenty of time - and plenty of incentive - for Apple to warn customers, their investors, and their retailers officially that supply will be particularly bad this year, but that hasn't happened.

The roll-out
The press release also tells us where devices will be available and when. The sooner it rolls out worldwide, the better the supply is. That much is obvious, because in an ideal world Apple would love for their new iPhone to be available in every shop in every corner of the Earth on day one: it means more are sold.

Here's some history on iPhone roll-outs:
  • iPhone 6 was available in 10 countries and regions on day one.
  • iPhone 6s was available in 12 countries and regions on day one.
  • iPhone 7 was available in 29 countries and regions on day one.
  • iPhone 8 was also available in 29 countries and regions on day one.
So what about the iPhone X? It's going to be so constrained, it must be just a few major markets, right?

No. It will be available in 57 countries and regions on day one. 57! That's totally unprecedented. And on what is meant to be the most constrained Apple product ever? It just doesn't make sense.

The cost
This thing is seriously expensive. End of point. :p

The time

Apple has given themselves a long time between announcement and pre-order and availability when you consider the rate at which Apple can ramp production. Most new iPhones come in to supply-demand balance in less time than Apple has given themselves this year.

A fixed availability date
Remember iPhone 7 Plus in Jet Black? That was an availability minefield. I think it is agreed now that not a single one was delivered on September 16, 2016 - i.e. the release day. But Apple could still claim September 16 was the release date because other colours did deliver on that date.

But the same doesn't apply to iPhone X because some number of them must be available November 3, otherwise that couldn't be the launch date.

So the many people comparing the iPhone X to the Jet Black Plus... it simply cannot be as bad as that was.

What was the delay for then?

If my theory is correct, and supply won't be so disastrous, why are we waiting until November before these things ship?

I think it's largely due to the software for Face ID.

Today's iOS beta added more features for Face ID that were announced at the start, e.g. attention detection, and the embarrassing Face ID incident with Craig (yes, it worked as intended, but the lock-out experience clearly needs some work and a better UI!), and lack of live Face ID demos for the press look to me as signs that it isn't at 100% yet from the software side.

To be clear... I'm not saying it won't sell out. Of course it will. It could easily slip to 3-5 weeks on pre-order day like lots of other iPhones have. But I think 1) those ordering in the first few minutes will get one on launch day, and 2) those wanting one for Christmas won't be disappointed.

End of rant. I'm interested in your thoughts. :)
I pretty much agree with all your points, good job