There seems to be no end to the saga of disappointing sales of the new iPhones. After reducing the price of iPhone XR in Japan and start to adopt desperate marketing strategies nothing Apple-like, Ma has yet another sign that its most "cheap" device of the year is in lower demand than expected and, as a result, the company's finances may suffer a blow next year.
Our old friend Ming-Chi Kuo, from TF International Securities, issued a note to its investors significantly lowering its forecast for shipped iPhones in the first quarter of 2019. The analyst had previously predicted that Apple would sell between 47 and 52 million devices in the period; now the estimate that are between 38 and 42 million smartphones shipped in the first three months of next year.
The analyst says the main reason for the new estimate is the lower than expected interest in the iPhone XR, which, as he (and everyone else) predicts, will be the best-selling iPhone over the next year with some slack. Focusing only on the multicolored smartphone, Kuo revised its sales forecasts in the first quarter: from 20-25 million, now he estimates that they will be dispatched from 15 to 20 million of units in the period.
If the analyst's predictions are correct, Apple will sell between 8 and 12 million iPhones less in the first quarter of 2019 compared to the same period in 2018, a drop that can vary between 16% and 24%. Yes, brutal.
Kuo also recalls that the demand for older iPhone models, such as the 8 and 8 Plus, may generate some extra income for Apple in the period; moreover, the inflated average selling price of the iPhone may help to balance the accounts a little bit, that is, even when selling less, the thump in Apple's accounts may not be as deep because people are, on average, paying more for each unit of the iPhone.
Still, the expectation that Apple will experience a decline in revenue in the first periods of 2019 because of the (apparently) wrong strategy. The figures it will disclose in January, referring to its first fiscal quarter of the year, will already give us a direction in this regard.