Analyst: Apple’s iPhone X production has met expectations

“Cowen and Company analyst Karl Ackerman’s note to investors, a copy of which was provided to AppleInsider, claims research into the supply chain in Asia last week indicates approximately 53 million iPhone X units were built in the first quarter of 2018,” Malcolm Owen reports for AppleInsider. “This is said to be ‘largely in line’ with an estimate made 30 days ago, suggesting the production would produce 52.5 million units. ”

“While overall units are largely unchanged, build expectations for the [iPhone] X continue to be curtailed,” writes Ackerman, suggesting the second quarterly production will result in 17 million units, down from the month-ago prediction of 21 million,” Owen reports. “The analyst says the firm will still not rule out Apple reporting unit sales slightly higher than the number of units produced in the first quarter, ‘given the mismatch between builds and sell-in numbers’ in the fourth quarter of last year.”

“Going into the second quarter, the demand momentum for iPhones as a whole is thought to be under expectations based on the firm’s field work, with a ‘more concrete view’ of second quarter production putting the device family at approximately 42.5 million units,” Owen reports. “Ackerman advises this figure also includes 9 million iPhone X units, but is overall down from the firm’s preliminary estimate of between 13 and 16 million units.”

Read more, including discussion of a next-gen iPhone SE, in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple adjusts iPhone production according to seasonality and demand constantly and with precision. The only “expectations” Apple is meeting or not meeting are those of outsiders (“analysts”) who do not know and cannot see the whole picture.

Even if a particular data point were factual it would be impossible to accurately interpret the data point as to what it meant for our overall business… There is just an inordinate[ly] long list of things that would make any single data point not a great proxy for what’s going on. Apple CEO Tim Cook, January 23, 2013

iPhone X was the best-selling smartphone in the world in the December quarter according to Canalys, and it has been our top selling phone every week since it launched. iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus rounded out the top three iPhones in the quarter. In fact, revenue for our newly launched iPhones was the highest of any lineup in our history, driving total Apple revenue above our guidance range… The iPhone X was the most popular and that’s particularly noteworthy given that we didn’t start shipping until early November, and we’re constrained for a while. The team did a great job of getting into supply demand balance there in December. But since the launch of iPhone X, it has been the most popular iPhone every week, every week sales. And that is even through today, actually through January… We feel fantastic, particularly as it pertains to iPhone X. — Apple CEO Tim Cook, February 1, 2018


  1. What a laugh. 99% of articles claim the iPhone X is Tim Cook’s biggest failure because it’s too expensive and doesn’t offer enough bang for the buck. All I ever hear about it how many production cuts iPhone X suffered. It was like the original AppleWatch expectations repeating itself. There was just an article saying how Apple was in deep, deep trouble for trying to sell an iPhone no one could afford. Absolutely no iPhone “super-cycle” as predicted. Apple doomed yet again.

  2. MDN, a vocal critic of analysts, once again posts opinions from yet another analyst. Why bother?

    The surest way to exceed expectations is to lower expectations. If Apple was proud about its sales of any one product, it would reveal the actual sales of that product. Lack of transparency is the main reason Wall Street doesn’t entirely trust Apple, and why Apple Watch is still viewed as as failed product. The investor has no proof to show that Apple’s R&D expenditures were recovered by the sales of the niche device. Apple seems much more proud of the growing revenue from Applecare and rental computing services.

    Nobody but select few at Apple knows how sales are actually doing. Most likely they are tapering off because the early adopters already got their flagship phones. So stop printing these repetitive useless opinion pieces.

  3. “The surest way to exceed expectations is to lower expectations. ”

    This reminds me of advice a business consultant gave me many years ago. Give your bank a glowing forecast for revenue, then, whenever possible, lower your guidance until you know you can beat it.

    What I’ve seen from WS is high estimates at the beginning of a period that is ratcheted down in the weeks that follow, and they always blame Apple “underperformance” as the reason for their downward revisions (its never because their original estimate was to high).

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