Apple reassigns some marketing staff, tries promos and trade-in deals to spur iPhone sales

“Apple Inc. is experimenting with iPhone marketing strategies it rarely uses — such as discount promotions via generous device buyback terms — to help goose sales of its flagship product,” Mark Gurman reports for Bloomberg. “Company executives moved some marketing staff from other projects to work on bolstering sales of the latest handsets in October, about a month after the iPhone XS went on sale and in the days around the launch of the iPhone XR, according to a person familiar with the situation. This person described it as a ‘fire drill,’ and a possible admission that the devices may have been selling below some expectations. ”

“Since then, Apple has embarked on a series of aggressive trade-in offers that have temporarily reduced the cost of some of its latest iPhones, a rare step for a company that’s been raising device prices in recent years to lift revenue and profit,” Gurman reports. “On Sunday evening, Apple kicked these efforts into high gear, adding a new banner to the top of its website advertising the iPhone XR for $449, $300 less than its official sticker price. The deal, noted with an asterisk and described at the bottom of the page, requires customers to trade in an iPhone 7 Plus, a high-end handset from two years ago.”

“Last week, the company started offering a limited-time promotion that boosts the trade-in value of older iPhones by an additional $25 to $100,” Gurman reports. “Last year, there were similar concerns about sales of the iPhone X, and the handset ended up selling well. And Apple has used similar marketing tactics before. ”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Blah, blah, blah.

And now, after yet more talk-down from Bloomberg “Chinese Spy Chips” News, here are some facts:

In fiscal year 2018, Apple’s revenue grew over $36 billion to $265.6 billion. For the current quarter, Apple has guided for revenue between $89 billion and $93 billion, a new all-time record. (That’s revenue of roughly $1 billion — with a B — per day.)

When analysts learn to see without the unit share blinders Apple has just removed, hopefully their eyes won’t pop out of their heads when they finally see those huge numbers and realize how very much more is to come.MacDailyNews, November 28, 2018

Bloomberg Businessweek should retract or unequivocally prove their Supermicro spy chip yarn – November 29, 2018
Apple VP: iPhone XR has been company’s best-selling model every day since it launched – November 28, 2018


  1. When will apple realise its out priced a chunk of its customers.
    Average Joe would baulk at the thought of dropping 1k for a phone that cost half that just a couple of years ago.
    Whilst money is no object for some people who will be happy to pay whatever most people wont. Most people buy through carriers and pay monthly. If your bill cost 35 quid a month a few years ago why would they now spend nearer to 80-100 for essentially a newer version of the same phone? It might be better but so is the competition.

    I now see plenty of people who keep their old iPhone’s longer and get a cheaper phone free contract or look elsewhere. My company wont spend that on staff phones either.

    I know people who still have 6 and 7 series, and others who have moved to top spec android phones instead.
    Apple was about being the best not the most expensive, it needs a reality check.

    1. I should also add that i dont think the XR solves the problem either.

      It’s apple basically saying – make do with this phone which isn’t as good as the best one we released, but to the very people that look for the best phones. It’s no surprise the XS outsells the XR. If i need an average phone why would i get an XR and not an android?

      Apple has miscalculated that loyal apple users will pay more and more whatever they make or do. The results are reflecting that. Didnt they learn from the watch rip off (aka the edition).
      It’s no surprise that sales are flattening out.

      I totally agree – why are we paying Mac money for a mobile phone. Whats so revolutionary that its worth double the price of a 5 or 6 series (which were at the top of the game when released too).
      Comparatively apple is being very very greedy. And its not just that – if homepod played nice with spotify and others they’d likely sell more – but they want you to use apple music (which isn’t as good imo).

      Apple will struggle to convince me now to pay more then i did for a lesser phone, equally nor to pay extortionately more to get the best version they do.

      1. “It’s no surprise the XS outsells the XR. It’s no surprise the XS outsells the XR. ”

        Apple VP Joswiak just said a few days ago the XR is their bestselling phone since it began selling.
        He didn’t say what TOTAL sales were but I note that is the ONLY concrete data of the current iPhone sales. Everything Pro or Con on Apple the last few weeks has been conjecture.

    1. Yes, and Samsung’s Galaxy S9 and Note 9 sales are poor compared to same-timeframe sales of the S8, S7 and S6.

      This, despite the fact the economy is supposedly better than it’s been in years.

      Has a psychological price ceiling been hit? It has for me. Holding on to my 6s at least another year (with a fresh battery). My gf got a brand new XS, but she’s been saving for a top-of-the-line phone for 5 years, while getting by with a dirt-cheap Android to start, and then second-hand low-end iPhones.

      1. But they don’t have a usb-c cable option. And since iPhone 7 you can’t charge while using audio output.

        Maybe Apple thinks we should replace home stereos, cars, headphones, and accessories we already own to support its dream of a wireless world but imho the newest Apple devices are less user friendly than they used to be.

        Lightning to HDMI adapter: $50. Apple just loves to bend over its customers!!!!

    1. Why have nice high performsnce car if your old car still takes you from point a to b….
      Why by a bmw, lexsus, porche..etc… if Nissan Versa will take u from point a to b.

  2. Looks like Bloomberg has found a way to stick it to Apple after they were called out for chip-gate.

    When the share price bottoms I’ll buy a load more shares and watch the ride up again 💵

  3. What a Micky Mouse patch-up, first-aid, fire drills!
    Didn’t they already know that they overpriced their most loyal customers? Then, over-dependence on a single product…
    Suggest a simple solution.
    Replace the current CEO with someone of just above average managerial skills. No “supply chain management”, nothing.

  4. LMAO. Marketing Staff? What marketing staff?

    The one that creates compelling Mac ads?

    The one that creates compelling Apple Pay ads?

    The one that creates compelling iPad ads?

    FFS, Apple has no marketing staff.

    Just a lazy fat fuck named Phil Shiller.

    Pipeline is getting REAL desperate now. He knows that the jig is up. No more riding Steve Jobs’ coattails.

  5. Pipeline’s one trick pony is killing the company now. A year of gains wiped out in a couple of months.

    Now he has nothing to fall back on as he neglected the Mac line for years and loyal customers have left to windows.

    Pipeline’s fix? Raise prices.

    Oh the economy is good, we can raise prices to astronomical levels. Nope the consumer is not going to buy $1500 phones and $2500 laptop with sub par tech in it.

    I can get an entry level PC with an i7 processor , 16gb of ram and a 512 ssd for under $1000. To get that with an Apple I have to get their top end . $2700 laptop. Wow apple you’re just robbing customers.

  6. Simply the phone product line. Bring back the plastic iPhone 5C with newer internals to shave cost and offer it as a price point they can’t resist. Redesign the top end model to resemble the new iPad /iPhone SE
    Nix the stupid naming convention.
    Do not introduce discounts…it’s the quickest way to devalue your product. Steve Jobs knew this…’d think Tim Cook would too.

  7. Many fine comments here today that are spot on. A few takeaways:

    Yes, iPhone prices have hit a psychological barrier as too high. We paid less than half for the flagship phone just five years ago that shipped with headphones and a charging cable. When you pay more for a phone than a computer, well, it’s just WRONG.
    The XR should be priced at $499, period.
    A stripped down basic plastic like 5C form factor should be reintroduced as an entry level phone for cost conscious consumers and developing countries like India, et. al. and sold for much less.
    The SE only needs minor updates and also a great phone at a great price for folks that prefer to carry in a shirt or pants pocket, and for those that have smaller hands the females have been complaining about.
    Steve Jobs pipeline has run dry a couple years ago and it is all on beancounter Cook and lazy SVPs to deliver innovation and the next best thing.
    The ignorance of your second largest revenue stream, core flagship Mac Pro for five+ years and ALL Macs that are now neutered, underpowered and overpriced is unacceptable and caused an exodus to Windows. Customers that will never return as Cook plays out the fantasy of iPads to replace pro workstations.
    The slowing decline and over reliance on the one-trick pony company has finally come home to roost.

    Next year will be pivotal after years of neglect and mismanagement of the greatest tech company. I’m placing my bets on the board and not Cook and his cronies that forced out the second Steve…

  8. Apple is essentially an iPhone and services company.
    The current iPhone selections are variations of ‘expensive’ and do not include any smaller form factor or basic phones (updated SE for example
    Gambling so much on iPhone sales incurs risk and volatility which is reflected by lower stock prices.
    Apple needs to invest in a more diverse iPhone lineup as well as laptops and desktops that can be customized by the user with removable hard drives, batteries, easy RAM upgrades, and a variety of port selections.

  9. Well,

    Apple is fumbling. How one wonders? Let’s see…No new Mac Pro in 5 years. People may think this is no big loss, but what if the pro user buys other Apple stuff, but stops doing so because they feel abandoned by Apple? No iPhone, iPad, or other Macs purchased. Tick off long time customers by forcing crappy keyboards on the laptops because the laptop MUST BE THIN. Update the phones, add another few hundred bucks to the bottom line, offer no real advantages over the past 4 generations, and also mention that your company is not going to offer a 5G solution in 2019. Oh, and we get the notch rammed down our throats and we are told that it is fashionable…Yeah, folks will flock to Apple.

    Apple rolls out what could be a killer speaker in the HomePod, but their desire to use it only within a small ecosystem guarantees decreased sales. Open the unit up so it can be used anywhere, put in a rechargeable battery, and put out a soundbar with the same technology that offers a superior sound experience with TV or any other device, and Apple will sell millions of units. No, that would be too simple. Cripple the HomePod…Great thinking! The problem with the ilk in Cupertino now is that nobody at Apple remembers 1997 and how close the company came to going under.

    Apple worried that sales are tanking? No, they just announced that they will not report unit sales, only the money made. Well, one can manipulate money totals, but not unit sales as easily. Sales have slowed. There is a general ill-at-ease feeling growing in the markets. Perhaps the market could rapidly worsen. In times like that, people will pull back on discretionary spending. If Apple wants to survive, they better look at the pricing schemes and value-to-performance of the products and not just the stock performance. Stock will follow what people buy. If they are not buying your product, no matter how hard you puff out your chest, it will not matter.

    The only product that Apple seems to have really been doing well with is the performance of the Apple TV 4K. This thing has been tweaked and has become successively better.

    Now Apple is going to corner the media market. They are going to waste millions on developing media that may not sell. There are kids on YouTube developing their own content and what happens if that outsells Apple? This is a fools errand.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.