Ming-Chi Kuo: iPhone 8 looking like a tough sell amid strong iPhone X demand

“KGI this morning is out with a new investor note touching on iPhone X demand through the 2017 holiday quarter,” Chance Miller reports for 9to5Mac. ” “Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo also notes the negative impact the iPhone X will have on demand for the iPhone 8, which he anticipates will sell worse than originally expected.”

“The analyst sees the strong iPhone X demand continuing into 2018 based on a couple of things,” Miller reports. “For one, as more customers get their hands on the device, Kuo says potential buyers will drop their initial concerns about some of the drastic changes the iPhone X offers, such as its lack of a Home button. Furthermore, Kuo sees demand during the Chinese New Year being ‘“robust.'”

“As for the iPhone 8, Kuo anititaptes that production will decline by 50 to 60 percent during Q1 2018 compared to the holiday shopping quarter,” Miller reports. “The analyst says that the iPhone 8 Plus, on the other hand, is selling slightly above initial estimates. This, in part, Kuo explains, is part of what is cannibalizing demand for the 4.7-inch iPhone 8.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As expected:

Apple just might have a problem on their hands, judging by the early results of our online poll (see below). It’s early, but we expect Apple to market the living you-know-what out of the iPhone 8/Plus because, next to the iPhone X, it’s looking like a tough sell.

Current results of the poll we started [on September 14, 2017]:

My next iPhone will be:
• iPhone X: 72.59% (98 votes)
• iPhone 8 Plus: 11.11% (15 votes)
• iPhone 8: 5.93% (8 votes)

Granted, these are MacDailyNews readers, so you’d expect them to want the flagship iPhone, and the sample size is also very small, but we still think Apple has a lot of work to do (advertising, carrier promotions, product placement, etc.) when it comes to moving iPhone 8/Plus units.MacDailyNews, September 14, 2017

12 Comments

    1. If they cannot salve the demand it could be a problem. Ask Elon Musk.

      At Tesla, the output of batteries is holding up shipments of the Model 3. My understanding is there are a number of components that are holding up the production ramp of the iPhone X.

    2. Why should Apple care that people aren’t buying iPhone 8/8+ because they are choosing to buy iPhone X instead. . . they’ll be laughing all the way to the bank!

  1. Apple will balance this out nicely, albeit at the expense of one of their own. But, they knew exactly what the demand for 8 would be going into the season.

    X is a branch funded by the few who are interested in pursuing the “jailbreak” version of iPhone 8. Wallets will support the branch of iPhone that speaks to them.

    I choose X, and not because of a couple of features over iPhone 8 but because of what it represents; freedom from the whiners who hate change.

    1. There is a difference between change for the sake of progress and change as a fashion statement. Steve Jobs was a form is dictated by function guy- the opposite of the Burberry model.

      Some see the iPhone X as a form of IQ test. How many are stupid enough to give Apple a greater than 100% profit margin for a throwaway cell phone? The cost to build it is less than $400. I have better uses for $1,000 than a cell phone.

      Bet Dollars to Doughnuts that Apple is testing demand destruction, seeing how high they can jack the price before the fashionistas, hipsters and fanbois say ouch.

  2. Why is this a problem. Apple have a high value, high profit AND high demand product in the iPhone X. Plus they also have lower priced phones all the way down to $349.
    This is an ideal situation and since Apple appears to be delivering iPhone X well ahead of schedule they are starting to deal with the demand.

  3. These analysts always have some worries with Apple. How is this a major problem? Apple will simply cut back production and as long as Apple can ramp up production on iPhone X, Apple comes out ahead. I thought iPhone 8 was mainly a backup plan for Apple in case iPhone X had component supply problems or if consumers were hesitant about paying $1000 for the iPhone X.

    I don’t see iPhone 8 as being a problem for Apple as the price will drop next year and surely there will be enough buyers of what is in inventory, so it’s not as though Apple is going to have to take some charge on losses. They way Kuo is talking is as though Apple will have to eat millions of iPhone 8 units. iPhone X sales will easily make up for any iPhone 8 losses if any.

    Why doesn’t Kuo have a problem with a company like Samsung who produces a vast number of models of smartphones? Surely, there must be a lot of cannibalizing happening with Samsung’s flagship models. It’s impossible to perfectly match every model with consumer demand. There always have to be some models that don’t sell as well as expected.

    How could Kuo possibly know what Apple had anticipated in terms of sales for all 2017 iPhone models? iPhone X demand over iPhone 8 demand could certainly have been what Apple hoped for, especially if profit margins are better with iPhone X sales. I just don’t see it as a “problem.” I’d really have to know how many iPhone 8/8 Plus units are stockpiled in inventory and aren’t being sold before I’d yell, “Problem.”

  4. I bought an 8 by choice after a good deliberation. I just played safe at this time, and the proven design gives me a comfort. That’s does not mean the X did not intrigue me, and in fact, I will probably buy it in a year or so. But I have this weird feeling that Kuo is being used by Apple. Ever since Cook took over, Apple became too much of a money monger, unlike Jobs who genuinely put users first. He was always eager to please users by offering best products and money follows, and he was proud of it. And we felt Apple’s mojo too. What might be happening is that Apple is actually worried about good number of consumers snapping up the 7 and the 8 and their plus siblings. People are also snapping up the X’s but many of them did so out of curiosity, fully knowing that they can return it in 2 weeks. The X looks good, no question, but is it worth the money? Let’s see how it goes.

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