Okay, the title above is merely a physical license, naturally, no company will ever endeavor to show that the results of any product are below expectations. Still, it is still curious (not to say fun) to see Apple battling completely with an experience that, it seems, indicates in the company: the supposed lack of public interest in the new iPhones.
It is true that we will never know the real size of the problem, since Ma announced perhaps already because of the phenomenon that it will no longer disclose the exact sales figures for iPhones (and iPads and Macs, too). Still, some very convincing indications show us that yes, the 2018 handsets are attracting less interested than normal and Apple itself is struggling to make up for lost ground.
Take as an example this survey of Mixpanel. The company makes an estimated analysis of the adoption of existing iPhone models on the market through access / use statistics for websites and apps; taking a look at the data for the last few months, we see that the iPhone XR has been the best-selling handset of the new trio (confirming what Greg Joswiak had said), but the three new handsets, in general, are not gaining the characteristic trait of previous years, that is, their market share is not rising at a constant rate. allow them to get where the iPhone X (the current champion) arrived after a year.
Meanwhile, the share of iPhones 8, 8 Plus and X remains stable and, in a few weeks, it has risen, that is, the sale of "old" smartphones is at least on par with the new ones.
Another interesting data brought by Mixpanel: considering the first five weeks of sale, the iPhone XR conquered 1.5% of adoption among iPhone owners, while the iPhones 8 and 8 Plus won 3.6% adoption in the same period last year. The case of the XS / XS Max iPhones even more curious: combined, the devices have conquered 5% of adoption in the first two months of sale, while the iPhone X, last year, managed alone 7% of the iPhones universe in the same period.
The numbers no longer paint a very favorable situation for Apple and the company is not helping: some promotional actions carried out over the past few days or weeks show that the yellow sign is already flashing strongly there in Cupertino. Do you want an example? Just see how Ma changed the way of publicizing the iPhone XR in its main page In the USA. The publisher of 9to5Mac Benjamin Mayo gathered the three calls to the original, the one from last Monday (3/12) and the most recent, posted on Friday (7/12):
Please buy our phone.
PLEASE BUY OUR PHONE.
PLEASE BUY OUR PHONE WE REALLY DONT WANT TO ADD ANOTHER LINE OF TEXT TO OUR HOMEPAGE pic.twitter.com/MwXffUN0ZW
– Benjamin Mayo (@bzamayo) December 7, 2018
Please buy our phone.
PLEASE BUY OUR PHONE.
PLEASE BUY OUR NS PHONE WE DON'T WANT TO ADD ANOTHER TEXT LINE OUR MAIN PAGE
As one of the responses to the tweet, significant, even, that Apple has replaced the two links below the call ("Learn more" and "Buy") with a single, much more striking link ("Buy now?). Also the first time that Ma advertises a device by placing its price in bold letters with an asterisk that refers precisely to the fact that the value that the user can obtain if he delivers his old iPhone Ma, as long as it is inside a series of conditions.
The iPhone XS also made the same move, although it is lower on the main page perhaps because it is selling less.
Changes to the home page are not the only Apple promotional item to draw attention to new iPhones: the company is ordering, via the app Apple Store, notifications to users with advertisements for the new devices, which, in theory, would be disrespectful to Ma's own app store guidelines.
Arent advertising notifications like this against App Review guidelines? Im thinking its section 4.5.3 which clearly states Do not use Apple Services to spam, phish, or send unsolicited messages to customers, including Game Center, Push Notifications, etc. pic.twitter.com/cdcq1lhaTF
– Steve Lederer (@ stevieled5) December 7, 2018
Are advertising notifications like this not prohibited by the app analyzer guidelines? I'm referring to section 4.5.3, which clearly defines ?Don't use Apple's services to send spam, phishing or unsolicited messages to consumers, including Game Center, notifications push etc.
In the responses to tweet, some users considered that Steve Lederer received the message just because he is in the iPhone Upgrade Program; the developer stated that, even if that is the case, the action appears to be abusive to the consumer and sounds like something a low-level retailer would do, not Apple.
Even one App Store editorial it was used to bring the benefits and advantages of the iPhone XR if you have read any of these contents offered in the store, you know that in general they bring informative and enriching texts about apps on various topics; here, however, there is no desire to disguise that the editorial is purely and simply an advertisement for the device, listing its advantages and applications that benefit from its news.
The editorial, entitled ?Upgrade to iPhone XR, Then Get These Apps? ("Switch to iPhone XR, Then Download These Apps"), is being shown to users in the USA on different iPhone models including, for some reason, the XR itself.
Just now, Ma completed yet another step in this new iPhones promotion marathon by placing a special page on the air where you can check how much one of the new iPhones comes out if you deliver your current model, simply inform your model of the device and Apple shows the price of the new iPhones XR, XS and XS Max already with the value of Apple GiveBack minus.
Apparently, Ma's actions to promote the new iPhones are not limited to the virtual world: as reported by 9to5Mac, Apple also started to use various elements of its physical stores as vehicles for advertising the devices.
OLED screens of sessions Today at Apple, screens behind Genius Bars and even Apple TVs on display are, in several locations, being used to show the same text displayed on Apple's home page: ?Limited time. iPhone XR starting at $ 449. Change your current iPhone and upgrade to a new one ?.
Apart from promotions back to school, Apple never uses these means to promote a product or marketing in its stores.
Promotional actions should not stop there. As reported by Bloomberg, Apple instructed a part of its internal marketing team to stop developing current / future jobs and focus only on publicizing iPhones. The report brings these words:
According to a person familiar with the situation, company executives moved some marketing people from other projects to work on boosting sales of the new iPhones this in October, approximately a month after the launch of the iPhone XS and a few days after the arrival of the iPhone XR on the market. That person described the strategy as a "fire contention", and a possible admission that the devices may be selling below expectations.
In any case, none of this is abnormal: at some point, consumer interest in new iPhones had to cool down after years of continuous rising further with the risky pricing policy adopted by Apple. And, with the drop in interest, it is not unreasonable for Ma to intensify its marketing efforts to try to recover some lost space.
What really stands out here, however, is the company's lack of elegance in this task: speaking in popular terms, it seems that Apple has really jumped and lost its temper, and this does not project a positive image for consumers or the market. The next few months will be crucial for us to know if Tim Cook and his crew will be able to control the plane and put it back on cruising speed or if things will continue in the current extreme turmoil.
via 9to5Mac, AppleInsider, Cult of Mac