When the iPhone X was launched on November 3rd, 2017, it was almost immediately heralded as the future of Apple smartphones. For some, this futuristic handset also represented the future of the smartphone industry as a whole, while it certainly seemed to be a fitting commemoration of the iPhone’s 10-year anniversary.
Fast-forward five months and the landscape has changed, however, with a number of reports suggesting that the iPhone X may well be canceled this September.
There were always question marks about the longevity of the iPhone X, of course, but there’s no doubt that it’s relatively disappointing performance has come as a surprise to Apple. But will the iPhone X really be canceled this year, and if so what are the reasons behind this?
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Major Reasons Why iPhone X is to Set to Be Cancelled
Is Apple Really Set to Cancel the iPhone X Range?
According to newly published papers by the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Apple decided to scrap a third variant of the iPhone X before the initial launch.
More specifically, the brand filed the paperwork for a gold edition back in September, with the clear intention of mirroring the design of the popular iPhone 8 and 8 Plus range. Despite this, the model still hasn’t made it to market, and it’s unlikely that it will ever see the light of day given the time that has elapsed since its design.
This information came to light after Apple’s six-month confidentiality clause with the FCC expired, while its publication suggests that the brand has already given up on the notion of selling the handset on the consumer market.
As a result of the revelation, the rumor mill has gone into overdrive, with most industry experts believing that the iPhone X range will be officially canceled when Apple enters the next stage of its production cycle this September. In simple terms, Apple has no plans to reduce the price of the iPhone X so that it can compete with brand new iterations such as X SE, while the launch of further handsets will ultimately render the anniversary model as being obsolete.
Why is the iPhone X on the Verge of Cancellation – Is Cost the Issue?
Interestingly, the issue of price is an important one when determining why the iPhone X is on the verge of cancellation.
After all, a premium, four-figure price point appears to have restricted demand for the handset, with the result that Apple slashed its planned production output for the three-month period ending March 31st. In fact, the brand cut its production by around 20 million units (or 50%) during the first quarter of this year, while those familiar with Apple’s supply chain suggested that the company had reduced orders for components used in the iPhone X by around 60%.
OK, we hear you ask, why doesn’t Apple just cap the price of the model as it has done with some many historical handsets? The answer lies in the production cost of the iPhone X, which has increased dramatically with the integration of facial recognition and the OLED display technology that has been popularised by handsets such as the Samsung Galaxy S9. As these additional costs have been passed directly onto customers, there’s little margin left for Apple to reduce the retail price without making the handset unprofitable.
This is one of the primary reasons why demand for the iPhone X has faltered, and future iterations have been canned, as the proposition is becoming increasingly untenable from a profit and turnover perspective.
What Role have Design Issues Played in this Decision?
Beyond rising production costs and disappointing demand, it’s arguable that design issues have also played a role in the reported demise of the iPhone X range. It’s reported that the two main components of the brand’s advanced facial recognition feature may be subject to a supply shortage in the near-term, however, potentially forcing Apple to consider a costly redesign that negates one of the unique selling points of the iPhone X.
Some reports have also suggested that despite its cost and initial promise, the iPhone X remains one of the most breakable Apple handsets of all-time. It’s glass designed apparently suffered a number of breakages during testing, creating considerable doubt over the handset’s true value for money.
There are also concerns over the use of steel over an aluminum frame, with former much denser and less resistant to corrosion over time.
The Last Word
If the rumors are true and Apple is set to do away with future iterations of the iPhone X (while also ending production of the original handset), it would come as a blow to the world’s market-leading smartphone brand.
It would undoubtedly force Apple to reconsider future designs, production costs and their bottom line retail prices, with the four-figure iPhone X, seemingly pricing customers out of the market. Even allowing for the fact that many of the best mobile phone deals online revolve around the iPhone X and the similar model, customers seem unwilling to pay such high-end prices in the face of strong competition.
Apple would also need to consider the specification of future handsets, particularly if it is to avoid the myriad of problems that have blighted the growth of the iPhone X.
The brand will recover, of course, with three new handsets scheduled for release and a new iteration of the popular iPhone X SE also set to hit the market. This will help Apple to refocus its efforts and maintain its position as the world’s dominant smartphone manufacturer.
That’s all folks! Do share your views in the comment below.
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