Why 40% of iPhone owners didn’t upgrade to iPhone X

“From a note to clients by Piper Jaffray’s Michael Olson that landed in my inbox Monday: ‘Our survey of 1,500 iPhone users shows that ~40% have not upgraded to iPhone X because they either feel the device is too expensive (31%) or they prefer a larger screen (8%),'” Philip Elmer-DeWitt writes for Apple 3.0.

Given the next release of iPhones this Fall will likely address both of these issues, we are increasingly confident in our FY19 iPhone estimate of 233.8M, which is ~7M (3%) above consensus (227M). We believe FY19 will provide evidence of the “super-long” cycle we expect will play out as users migrate to “X-gen” devices over a multi-year period. — Piper Jaffray

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: While we wouldn’t trade our iPhone X units for iPhone 8 Plus units – flicking up with Face ID and banging through apps is just too valuable a time-savings to ever give up to go back to the antiquated Home button paradigm – we do long for a larger display:

[iPhone X] is just such a great device, but Apple (likely very carefully and intentionally) made it just a bit too small for our taste (baking in the impetus to upgrade this year), so we’re very much looking forward to the rumored 6.5-inch “iPhone X Pro” said to be coming this fall.MacDailyNews, January 2, 2018

3 exclusive features Apple could deliver with a 6.5-inch ‘iPhone X Plus’ – February 20, 2018
2 ways Apple can improve upon the beautiful iPhone X – February 15, 2018


  1. I’m so glad Apple gives choices. I don’t need a 6.5 inch display, since my eyes are rather like an inoperable command, program, or batch file. Devin Prater Assistive Technology Instructor

    , Microsoft Outlook, Excel, Word, and Powerpoint instructor certified by World Services for the Blind


      1. You gradually lose the ability to focus at close range. Holding the display closer to your face thus results in a larger, but blurrier image. So, your flip response is not all that useful or valid for a large subset of the population. And this is coming from someone in his early 50s who does not wear corrective lenses and used to have much better than 20/20 vision at near and far ranges. It sucks, but your vision worsens over time.

    1. That’s what Apple would have you believe when measuring diagonally from the very edge of the screen, but in terms of actual usage area the iPhone X is smaller.

    2. I have above average 30/20 vision and have some trouble reading on the iPhone X versus the iPhone 6plus, because while vertically the same, horizontally much smaller, making a big difference in text sizes, so I recommended to my glasses wearing parents to wait for a bigger screen. However the 6plus was too big in my pocket and I’m so much happier with the X – just wish is was about 10-15% wider to fit better in my hands and make reading easier.

      1. It’s too bad many phone manufacturers don’t have a settings option to allow adjusting OS UI font size in more than 2-4 preset sizes. More refined control would be so useful for older people.

    3. The big difference is the width of the display. The x phone has a longer screen than other phones but the width is nearly the same as my iPhone 6. To me that was enough to keep me from upgrading since I am not a power user.

  2. Apple needs to get it through their thick skulls that people are not going to continually pay $400-800 a year to buy a phone that is only marginally better than the previous model and then pay through the nose to the telcos to operate it.

    1. Interesting comment since it is clear that plenty of people did pay the extra dough for an iPhoneX.
      However there are certainly a good subset of iPhone owners who opted for the iPhone8 because they were not willing to pay the extra cash.
      What Apple did was create another level of iPhone user at the top end. That was very clever and has increased the ASP for iPhones.
      Now Apple has 5 phones from $349 to $1149.

    2. Let me provide another view. I have purchased a new top end iPhone every year and found each to be significantly superior to the one before.Also, Warren Buffet indicated that one of the main reasons that he has a significant investment in Apple (165,300,000 shares) is that your position is not true. I also own >$6M of Apple.

  3. My Jet Black is still a screaming machine. Why would I upgrade? I don’t need a bigger screen. I don’t want a bigger form factor. I’ll pocket the change. And the big dollars.

    1. Not until you explicitly list them.

      Apples useless marketing of the X didn’t prompt anyone in this household to pay the premium for Apple’s latest. The 8 and 8+ run everything an X can. The Samsung screen is not worth it. Faced isn’t faster or better for as far as we tried. What are the other 998 reasons to pay more?

      1. Gotta love how Apple’s spell correction can’t even identify copywritten Apple terms.

        Perhaps that is the biggest reason not to be an early adopter of Apple stuff anymore–quality is not in line with prices. Tired of Apples betaware.

    1. Don’t you have to account for the percentage that had no intention of upgrading at all this season to wait out another cycle or two? Or even wait out the probable kinks in the ‘new’ iPhone?

  4. The largest number of the 1500 surveyed (44%) stated that they were happy with their current iPhone and that’s why they didn’t upgrade. Perhaps that should be the headline for the article.

    1. The question this article attempts to answer is whether Apple’s vision of an OLED phone is compelling. At first look, the reception of the X indicates that Apple has a sizeable population of early adopters who will always jump on whatever the latest thing is with an Apple symbol. But Apple definitely is at risk of losing the average iPhone user, the 3rd world markets, and the people who want small screens.

      The roll out of the X was done in a way that indicates Apple isn’t wholly confident in the OLED tradeoffs. Lots of existing iPhone customers aren’t sold on the new device. Even more worrying: why would a Samsung-screened iPhone attract switchers from the Android camp?

      If the only selling features that Apple can point to on the iPhone X to distinguish itself from the competition is the method of unlocking and the visible notch, then Apple has problems even more fundamental than the inflated price.

  5. Pretty much a deliberate move I would say. They would have struggled to produce enough if the demand had been much higher far better to perfect it on the present size phone that effectively splits the old two thus encouraging up grades by the smaller phone brigade while once everything has been perfected get a second rush with the later bigger version.

    Of course one does have to take into consideration the likely extra difficulties of creating the bigger screen first time out which would only have further restricted production no doubt. To produce both sizes wasn’t I suspect even an option in the real world.

  6. X-Gen isn’t all that it is cracked up to be. More like the Forgotten Gen. Seriously how many articles have you read about X-Gen? Articles only mention Baby Boomers and Millennials. Ugg. 😃

  7. Well, I’ve still got a 6 Plus, my eyes keep getting worse, yes, I hold my phone to my face but more I’m[ortantly, it’s getting slow. But I can’t get a 7 or 8 Plus because- oh, the X. But the X has a note and now it’s not big enough, either. And it’s expensive. So I’m paralyzed. Better wait for the X Plus- it’s supposed to be bigger And cheaper. And it’s coming. So I sit here for 7-8 months with this maddening old 6? If the X feels smaller, I’ll be frustrated, even more so when the X plus arrives. I read too much.

  8. $1K for an iPhone?
    For ANY smart phone?
    No thank you.

    I am perfectly happy with my $170 U.S.D. 32 GBs iPhone SE with smaller screen and one hand, one thumb operation.
    It has been proven the current iPhone SE runs nearly as fast as a $1K iPhone X.

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