Apple in 2019 and the case of the expensive iPhone

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 24
A glance at the writing that passes for financial news headlines today might make it appear that Apple is entering 2019 with troubled sales, intense new competition emerging in China, and a weakening economy where nobody can afford to buy its expensive products anymore. The solution held up by many pundits is so old that it sounds comfortably soothing: iPhones should be cheaper! But they're wrong, here's why.

iPhone X
iPhone X was extremely successful despite its price and the intense criticism of pundits

The feedback loop

Many analysts and various pundits seem to be concerned that Apple has increased the price of iPhones, and they're again recommending the only solution they know -- Apple has to slash pricing to induced demand for its products! This advice comes from the now standard practice of reading what people are saying in social media and then crafting a word salad that repeats these same common but fact-light ideas so as to elicit populist agreement.

As Apple columnist Rene Ritchie recently noted on Twitter, tech industry writers short on ideas have admitted that they are now perusing discussion sites like Reddit to suck up previously stated opinions and regurgitate these in thought-pieces solely to ramp up their social media engagement statistics, regardless of whether those ideas are good or even something the writer agrees with. The point of "generating content" is inducing clicks, likes, and shares, not to inform and certainly not an attempt to be accurate or valuable.

This isn't unique to politics. Tech media folks have told me in the past that they read Reddit, create something to affirm whatever popular theories they read, and then sit back and rake in huge views. It's playing to a base. Often without agreeing with/caring about the PoV. https://t.co/8hCBI9nDu5

-- Rene Ritchie (@reneritchie)


The specific problem with the "iPhones are too expensive" story, however, is Apple didn't really raise the price of iPhones. It expanded iPhone pricing in both directions, creating the least expensive models and the most expensive models it has ever offered. It has been Apple's customers that have pushed the Average Selling Prices of iPhones up by choosing to buy more expensive models.

Lowering the price of iPhones sounds great in theory, but the result of Apple cheapening its products would not be different from the results of other companies that have worked to make their smartphones cheaper rather than better. If Apple began doing what Samsung, Huawei, Xiaomi and others were doing, it too would be performing poorly as a company, failing to introduce real innovations and forced to simply mimic the work of others.

Offering iPhones laden with features and giving its installed base solid reasons to buy them is the secret of Apple's success, not the cause of its problems. But it's just too popular to suggest that the solution to all of Apple's problems is to lower prices, because who doesn't like to save money?

Lying about Apple

Tech media writers are not just rhetorically imploring Apple to slash prices solely to butter up popularity among their audiences. They are also pushing a false narrative that Apple's iPhone pricing is both slowing sales and shifting consumer demand to cheaper Android alternatives, two ideas that are not supported by facts. But inventing a plausibility is not the same thing as discovering and proving a causality.

Major media sources including Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal previously spent much of last year promoting the idea that iPhone X was too expensive, an idea that was empirically proven to be false by real-world data. And yet today they are again boldly repeating the same false information about the latest batch of iPhones.

This time, they are taking care to contradict their own narratives with meek observations of reality, so that their attention-getting sensationalist headlines are hedged by later paragraphs of sheepish acknowledgments that effectively admit that the entire premise of their articles is just tabloid-esque filler. We know why: these articles aren't trying to establish a pattern of accurate, reliable reporting; they're merely fluff content blown out to induce outrage in order to drive the social media engagement that supports their surveillance advertising clickbait revenue model.

The same Bloomberg writer who repeatedly insisted a year ago that iPhone X was not selling well because "some" couldn't afford it is again repeating the idea that "higher prices" are a key reason for iPhone sales problems today. As a reminder, consumers were flocking en masse to the new model despite its price premium, topping Apple's sales charts with it every quarter, and radically improving the company's average selling price of phones at the same time that this was written.

In parallel, the same writer produced disproportionate, informercial-like coverage of Google's Pixel products, without similar scrutiny of their pricing. Yet Google's premium-priced Pixel phones directly competed unsuccessfully with cheap Androids, while Apple's premium-priced iPhone X outsold all of Apple's lower-priced iPhones. Clearly, pricing wasn't an insurmountable problem for iPhone X as Bloomberg claimed, yet it has been a major obstacle for Pixel.

Mark Gurman
Mark Gurman over at Bloomberg provided disproportionate, informercial-like coverage of Google's Pixel products without any scrutiny of their pricing strategy


A January 16th Bloomberg report even attributed the idea that "higher prices" were hurting iPhone upgrades to Apple itself. In reality, Tim Cook's letter to investors never once stated that the iPhone price tiers were a factor in lower than expected sales. Instead, Cook noted only that unfavorable exchange rates were, citing "US dollar strength-related price increases," not the company's pricing strategy on its newest models.

Incredibly, the same Bloomberg writer, just two weeks prior, had written that "Cook said a number of factors contributed to the revised outlook for the holiday period," and specifically stated that Cook "didn't mention that Apple had priced its new models at stratospheric levels."

Within two weeks, the same writer had shifted the Bloomberg narrative of high priced iPhones from something Cook had supposedly refused to acknowledge, to an idea he claimed Cook himself had made in explaining why iPhone sales were lower than expected.


In two weeks, Bloomberg went from claiming that Apple's letter to investors had refused to acknowledge the impact of iPhone pricing on demand to stating that it cited "higher prices" as a primary reason for lower than expected sales


One can criticize Apple's statements, but falsely twisting them to support a made-up narrative is simply dishonest. It's the opposite of journalism. The primary problem Apple faces in 2019 isn't China, a battery replacement program, nor any one of the given dramas of the day that seem to surround the company without any real truth behind them. Instead, it's a lack of context, accuracy, and care in reporting.

Fortunately, these writers and analysts are not very good at anything apart from manipulating Apple's stock price. They've done nothing to shift what consumers want or to change public opinion of Apple despite many years of desperately trying to do so.

Two sets of reality: one for Apple, one for Samsung

Apple's December quarter guidance originally anticipated an additional $5 to $9 billion in revenues. That shortfall called out in the company's guidance adjustment appears to have been mostly from missed hardware sales, primarily additional iPhones Apple expected to sell in China. If it occurred solely from missed sales of iPhones, that would amount to about 6 to 11 million phones at its current ASP. That's about a ten-day supply of Apple's global iPhone sales.

Apple's original guidance indicates that that company was intending to pull in more revenue this quarter than ever. Instead, for the December quarter Apple now expects its revenues to be just under 5 percent less than its previous record last year.

If you step back to look at the full second half of Apple's 2018 sales-- including the entire launch window of its new iPhones, including its most expensive iPhone XS models-- Apple's total sales grew by 4.25 percent. Based on its latest guidance, Apple brought in revenues of $146.9 billion between July and December, compared to $140.9 billion in the same period last year, during the incredibly successful launch of iPhone X.

So while pundits are crowing about "the high price of iPhones," the reality is that premium models are driving Apple's revenues and sales, stoking the very demand that keeps the company profitable and capable of investing in the future.

In contrast, note that Samsung's premium Galaxy sales have been plummeting by more than 10 million units virtually every year, yet nobody calls that a "collapse" in sales, even when it's coming out of the much smaller number of premium, profitable smartphones that Samsung sells. Across the two quarters that Samsung launched its Galaxy S9 last year, analysts estimate it only sold about 31 million, compared to the peak of 50 million units of the Galaxy S7 models that sold in 2016.

Compared to the more than 215 million premium iPhone models Apple sells annually, a drop in expected sales of around 10 million is hardly comparable to the implosion of Samsung's flagship sales. Yet for Apple it's described as the end of the road for iPhones, a collapse in demand, and a perilous shift that requires an emergency pivot into becoming a Netflix.

But for Samsung? The much greater drop that company is seeing in premium shipments and profitability was greeted by articles like this one: "Galaxy S9 sales may be low, but don't worry, Samsung isn't doomed".


The URL, page title and headline indicate increasingly strident efforts to tone down this story about Samsung's performance


Across fiscal 2018, Apple actually sold about a million additional units, year over year of its premium-priced iPhones. At the same time, Apple brought over $24 billion in new revenue despite already representing the luxurious cream layer of an industry that as a whole had contracted by 2.9 to 3.3 percent across 2018.

So while analysts and members of the media keep beating the same "iPhones need to be cheaper" drum they've been banging on since 2007, the reality is that Apple's premium pricing has attracted the most demanding and cost-insensitive buyers to iOS. It might sound populist and affirming to chant slogans like "the fanciest iPhones are too expensive," but that's clearly not actually a problem for Apple.

In reality, Apple's ability to raise prices is a primary reason why the company has been wildly successful across multiple industries that are systemically suffering in commercial failure elsewhere, from tablets to PCs to wearables.

And, it looks like the price of the top model of the Galaxy S10 is going to be around $1750. There doesn't seem to be a lot of complaints about that.

The threat in China isn't competition, it's recession

Even as pundits keep recommending the "low prices" toxin that's killing Apple's competitors as the medicine for any problems they can invent for Apple, they're also creating another fiction: that companies in China are creating wonderfully attractive, low priced devices that are causing Apple's buyers to leave the expensive world of iOS and take refuge in the more affordable world of Android.

There are several problems with this story. One is that while Apple's iPhone sales are down in China, sales of phones overall are down even more dramatically. Further, Apple's other sales are not similarly affected. iPhone isn't the only premium priced product Apple makes. Yet sales of Macs, iPads and other hardware are not seeing the same dips in sales. All evidence points to delays in purchasing iPhone upgrades, not in a significant competitive shift to alternatives.

The good news for Apple is that delays in iPhone purchases mean sales will eventually come; they're not lost to competitors. Instead, we're more likely to see continued incremental switching to iOS from the populations of lower-end Android shipments occurring in China, India, and other emerging markets following the same pattern of upgrades that have occurred in every market so far.

Another totally false idea that has been recently invented by media fabulists is that once users are taught to use a specific platform, they basically never leave. But that's complete fiction.

Almost every iPhone user has previously owned another make of phone at some point. People have been upgrading to iPhone ever since it came out, and based on a series of industry studies the attrition rate of those leaving iOS is much smaller than the number arriving from other platforms.

Android has long served as the training wheels for eventual iPhone buyers. And at an ASP of around $250, it's easy to understand why people would trade up from their Android rather than move from a premium experience to a cheap one.

The real problem for Apple in China is the threat of a sustained economic slowdown. That appears to be a very real problem for the entire smartphone industry, but a sustained and potentially even dramatic slowdown in China will hurt Apple's competitors worse than Apple itself. That's because Apple's rivals in China are far more exposed to domestic economic problems and are already barely making any money there.

Additionally, Chinese firms have had very little ability to penetrate other major smartphone markets outside, including in the U.S. and other western markets where Apple enjoys a solid base of users, where Android sales are being fiercely defended by Samsung, and where two of the top five Chinese brands now face legal barriers from selling in major markets at all.

How will Cook's Apple weather an economic downturn in China with potentially global effects? We'll be talking about that on Friday.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 56
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 1,014member
    So you're trying to say they're not expensive enough, Dan? Also remember phones aren't 70% of Samsung's revenue, the iPhone is 70% of Apple's revenue - more if you include iPhone related services. Why would Cook admit their phones are too expensive? He'd have to lower the prices if he did so. And why have there been aggressive pushes with trade-ins right on Apple's homepage? Some of your articles are good Dan, but your attempts to denigrate everything that isn't 100% pro-Apple is unprofessional and tiring. I used to like reading your articles, but recently you've had your head way too far up Apple's ass.
    muthuk_vanalingam78Banditanantksundaramavon b7mazda 3sk2kwkitatitkestral
  • Reply 2 of 56
    bulk001bulk001 Posts: 490member
    These screeds are as predictable as the news outlets they rail against. And the solutions equally as silly. Of course price plays an important factor. If someone can’t afford an iPhone they will most likely buy an android phone. Apple sales clearly are hurting and the trade in discounts from Apple show they are concerned. It strangely seems like they havent planned for this time of market saturation, longer upgrade periods and possible political and socio-economic disruptions. They have to walk a fine line for investors between affordability and profit and right now are on the wrong side of it. Their prices on everything from dongles to ram to computers to cables to phones have veered into ripoff territory. The quality issues on keyboards, Siri, iCloud functionality and pricing, iPad pre-bent, long computer upgrade cycles, ability to upgrade basics like ram etc combined with a we always know better smugness is starting to wear thin. Are some in the media biased against Apple? Sure. But don’t try make them come off as squeaky clean! 
    cmka~+elijahgboogerman2000atomic101albegarcanantksundarammazda 3skitatitpropodkestral
  • Reply 3 of 56
    Interesting analysis. 

    From a consumer point of view I think when apple has been at its best, it has brought a class of product with a level of functionality, reliability, fit, and finish, that couldn't be gotten elsewhere at any price. The original iPods and early iPhones were clear examples of this. When they came out they were an order of magnitude more expensive than alternative products, and orders of magnitude better (think $50 CD player or fully subsidized flip phone). 

    Even in the computer space where differences in spec value proposition have often been very narrow margins between competing models, people are often willing to pay a little more for a product that has a reliable track record, and–to invoke Marie Kondo–sparks joy.

    But the fit-and-finish (or joy-spark) premium has its limits.

    While I still prefer apple designs, competitors are closing the fit and finish gap, and while the processors in the current iPhones are quite arguably the best in class, the value added proposition of feature set in the high end models doesn't set apple apart in the way that it used to. Meanwhile on the computer side of things, while apple goes through apparent cycles of paying any attention at all to this side of the business, they haven't had a truly compellingly competitive new model in some time. 

    The premium on apple products is best justified by the consumer when they really stand out as premium products in and of themselves, and the current lineup just doesn't meet that bar IMHO.
    edited January 24 elijahgalbegarcmuthuk_vanalingam78Banditpairof9kitatitaaronsullivankestral
  • Reply 4 of 56
    jdgazjdgaz Posts: 358member
    Apple users will very likely remain and grow their apple purchases. The ecosystem and the reliability / security continue to draw converts. Phones simply last longer than they used to. We used to crave for a new phone every year or two due to changes from 2G-3G-4G, extended battery life, and larger screens. We need not chase the technology anymore. Now a 1000 hand set is really a 4 year investment. Or about 20 bucks a month.
    albegarcmazda 3smacpluspluslolliverkitatitradarthekatwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 5 of 56
    technotechno Posts: 707member
    The specific problem with the "iPhones are too expensive" story, however, is Apple didn't really raise the price of iPhones. It expanded iPhone pricing in both directions, creating the least expensive models and the most expensive models it has ever offered. It has been Apple's customers that have pushed the Average Selling Prices of iPhones up by choosing to buy more expensive models.
    hmmm. Not sure I agree with that. While it might be true that there is a wide range of phones and prices, it is misleading. Just because they are still selling the iPhone 7 and once again the iPhone SE, that hardly wins your argument. I suppose if they brought back the iPhone 5s you could claim Apple phones are selling at the lowest prices ever.

    Just because there are a few dumb kids in class that bring the curve down, it doesn't mean the smartest kids don't still lose their milk money.
    elijahg78Banditmuthuk_vanalingamaaronsullivanradarthekat
  • Reply 6 of 56
    ksecksec Posts: 1,567member
    $50 dollar a month over 24 months that is $1200, or $25 dollars a month for 4 years. There are lots of people can afford that. So it really isn't the price., or $1000. It is the value on offering.

    Imagine Apple has a iPhone XS with solid battery, giving you 2.5x the battery life, and a fast full charge in less than 30min, doesn't degrade after 3 years of use, and rise the price again by $100 to $1099, would people still bitch about it? ( They would ) but it gives lots of reason for people to buy it. It was a functional improvement that user are willing to pay.     

    I have argued again and again, it is not the price, but the value proposition from Apple is declining in all of their product lines.
    dkhaleymuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 7 of 56
    I read these things because I like to see just how far websites will go in cherry picking and then twisting data. The fact is, Apple and Samsung have miscalculated the price customers are willing to pay. Sure, there are always loyal consumers who will gulp hard and plunk their cash down. But, that is no way to grow, only to wait for something to come along and upend your cash cow. For Samsung, I'm sure they would rather make money off the mobile sector. But they have other sources of income as a company. Apple? Not so much. You know, the thing keeping a lot of people I know on an iPhone isn't privacy, etc. It's the Watch. Never let the Watch be a standalone or compatible with Android device.
    cmka~+muthuk_vanalingamkitatitaaronsullivanwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 56
    Amazing how many folks don't appear to have even read the article as they aren't addressing any of the facts/points he brings up.  Instead, just their own "screeds" that "you don't get it, Apple's phones are too expensive."  LOL.  Go back and read the article.  Then come back here and post some facts, not your feelings, that counteract what he and Tim Cook and actual financial analysts are stating. 
    elijahgbackstabDave KapStrangeDayslolliverPickUrPoisonradarthekatwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 9 of 56
    elijahg said:
    So you're trying to say they're not expensive enough, Dan? Also remember phones aren't 70% of Samsung's revenue, the iPhone is 70% of Apple's revenue - more if you include iPhone related services. Why would Cook admit their phones are too expensive? He'd have to lower the prices if he did so. And why have there been aggressive pushes with trade-ins right on Apple's homepage? Some of your articles are good Dan, but your attempts to denigrate everything that isn't 100% pro-Apple is unprofessional and tiring. I used to like reading your articles, but recently you've had your head way too far up Apple's ass.
    Absolutely no need to get nasty. 
    albegarcStrangeDayslolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 56

    ksec said:
    $50 dollar a month over 24 months that is $1200, or $25 dollars a month for 4 years. There are lots of people can afford that. So it really isn't the price., or $1000. It is the value on offering.

    Imagine Apple has a iPhone XS with solid battery, giving you 2.5x the battery life, and a fast full charge in less than 30min, doesn't degrade after 3 years of use, and rise the price again by $100 to $1099, would people still bitch about it? ( They would ) but it gives lots of reason for people to buy it. It was a functional improvement that user are willing to pay.     

    I have argued again and again, it is not the price, but the value proposition from Apple is declining in all of their product lines.
    Charge times have to do with physics and safety. And the XS hasn’t been out 3 years. 
    albegarclolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 56
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 1,014member
    kruegdude said:
    elijahg said:
    So you're trying to say they're not expensive enough, Dan? Also remember phones aren't 70% of Samsung's revenue, the iPhone is 70% of Apple's revenue - more if you include iPhone related services. Why would Cook admit their phones are too expensive? He'd have to lower the prices if he did so. And why have there been aggressive pushes with trade-ins right on Apple's homepage? Some of your articles are good Dan, but your attempts to denigrate everything that isn't 100% pro-Apple is unprofessional and tiring. I used to like reading your articles, but recently you've had your head way too far up Apple's ass.
    Absolutely no need to get nasty. 
    What have I said that's nasty?
    kestral
  • Reply 12 of 56
    jdgaz said:
    Apple users will very likely remain and grow their apple purchases. The ecosystem and the reliability / security continue to draw converts. Phones simply last longer than they used to. We used to crave for a new phone every year or two due to changes from 2G-3G-4G, extended battery life, and larger screens. We need not chase the technology anymore. Now a 1000 hand set is really a 4 year investment. Or about 20 bucks a month.
    What does this say about the Apple Upgrade program now?  Should we there be a new option with lower monthly payments and a longer upgrade period?

    Using the entry level XS + Apple Care ($999 + $199 = $1,198) as an example:

    Option 1: Two year payment of $49.91 - free upgrade after one year (current program)
    Option 2: Four year payment of $24.95- free upgrade after two years?

    Not sure that would work out since Apple Care would run out half way through...




    albegarc
  • Reply 13 of 56
    Apple is trying to address all price with referbs and retreads.

    A new iPhone 6s is $449.99 at Sprint.
    A pre-owned IPhone 7 is $288

    The cheapest modern IPhone the XR is $749.99

    The biggest problem is no one knows how long older iPhones like the 6s are going to be supported.  I would hope any new iPhone would have OS updates for 4 years.  For me, I buy an iPhone for the updates so that I know security issues will get patched.  I don’t trust Android to do the same.

    If you are at the low end and are looking to replace a dead Android, you can get a more powerful Andriod vs. a comparably priced iPhone.  Who knows which phone will be supported longer...

    Apple would do themselves a favor spelling out or guaranteeing their intentions.  They’re doing a poor job communicating with customers.  Apple also has some stupid quirks not shared by the competition.  For example, I wanted to rent Split (movie) and I couldn’t watch it on IOS without WiFi.  Apple also doesn’t allow updates (of any significant size) without WiFi. Dumb.

    Apple supposedly all about services lately, but I don’t use any of them do to arbitrary limits.  I can watch anything I damn please using my Amazon App on my iPad.

    Anyways, Apple’s sales in China is about many things.  It’s probably less about the economy than rising nationalism and anti-American sentiment due to the trade war.  We’ll see if there is any lasting damage after a deal is reached. I consider Huawei a legitimate threat, they better hurry up...

    If Huawei guaranteed timely Andriod OS updates for 4 years I’d certainly consider one...
  • Reply 14 of 56
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 2,026member
    elijahg said:
    So you're trying to say they're not expensive enough, Dan? Also remember phones aren't 70% of Samsung's revenue, the iPhone is 70% of Apple's revenue - more if you include iPhone related services. Why would Cook admit their phones are too expensive? He'd have to lower the prices if he did so. And why have there been aggressive pushes with trade-ins right on Apple's homepage? Some of your articles are good Dan, but your attempts to denigrate everything that isn't 100% pro-Apple is unprofessional and tiring. I used to like reading your articles, but recently you've had your head way too far up Apple's ass.
    When did Tim publicly directly said admitted "iPhones are too expensive?". If he said something different point of view in some geography and news media modified than that is not truth. Even Samsung's high end phones are expensive.
    StrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 56
    I would caution people against using revenue alone as a benchmark. Sure, the newer iPhone sell for more, but they also cost more to manufacture. In this case gross profit would be a better measure. I have no idea if that has gone up or down on the iPhone category.

    Someone else mentioned the Apple ecosystem, and I think this is very important. If you own one primary devices (Mac/iPhone/iPad), it becomes more likely you will buy other Apple devices.  There is also a financial impact of the iTunes store, App Store, iCloud storage etc, which are driven by the total units sold.

    There is a price that reduces sales enough that the the increase gross profit from a unit equals the decline in store sales over the devices lifetime. That is the maximum price that makes sense to charge. I'm sure Apple's pricing people have already worked out those calculations.

     

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 56
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 21,255member
    dkhaley said:

    There is a price that reduces sales enough that the the increase gross profit from a unit equals the decline in store sales over the devices lifetime. That is the maximum price that makes sense to charge. I'm sure Apple's pricing people have already worked out those calculations.

     

    Apple's "pricing people" would be tracking that continuously and adjusting for various scenarios. It's not once and set. 
  • Reply 17 of 56
    and a weakening economy where nobody can afford to buy its expensive products anymore

    You addressed this in relation to China, but I think you've missed the bigger picture.
    China is not the only place where a recession, possibly a deep one, is looking more likely. Apple has a great line of products for when times are good, but when the economy goes sour-as is predicted, when companies are slashing workers-asGM and Ford and others have already started doing, when wages are stagnating or declining as they are doing everywhere in the Western World, people have to cut back. Okay Apple could ride out a slowdown in China. But a slowdown lasting several years in China and the rest of Asia, North America, the EU, and everywhere else will point out a big weakness in Apple's pricing. Apple systems and devices may be aspirational, but when times get hard, people will buy cheap or make do. And Apple has nothing in the lower, not bottom but lower, end. They may want a Mercedes, but a Kia will do for the moment. They may want a $1200 iPhone, but their old phone, or an Android will do for the moment. You can hunt for a job on an LG phone or an iPhone 5C as well as you can on an iPhone XS. But in hard times the latter won't leave you enough to buy dinner.

    Yes I am expecting the economy to take a bad turn this year. A very bad turn.
    edited January 24 tjwolfkitatitpropod
  • Reply 18 of 56
    Great article. Thanks.

    I would add to the refutation that Apple needs to lower prices. There is already a robust used iPhone market of over 100M units per year at "Android" prices. This used iPhone market provides two benefits:

    1) It reduces the effective cost for upgrade buyers who resell their older iPhone.
    2) It addresses the price sensitive market, bringing new people into Apple's ecosystem which is growing at Android's expense.

    Tim Cook reported that last year, their ecosystem grew by 10%. That is phenomenal for a 40 year old company.

    Still, trade wars and global economic worries can impact Apple
    tmayalbegarclolliverbakedbananaswatto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 56
    DAalseth said:
    and a weakening economy where nobody can afford to buy its expensive products anymore

    You addressed this in relation to China, but I think you've missed the bigger picture.
    China is not the only place where a recession, possibly a deep one, is looking more likely. Apple has a great line of products for when times are good, but when the economy goes sour-as is predicted, when companies are slashing workers-asGM and Ford and others have already started doing, when wages are stagnating or declining as they are doing everywhere in the Western World, people have to cut back. Okay Apple could ride out a slowdown in China. But a slowdown lasting several years in China and the rest of Asia, North America, the EU, and everywhere else will point out a big weakness in Apple's pricing. Apple systems and devices may be aspirational, but when times get hard, people will buy cheap or make do. And Apple has nothing in the lower, not bottom but lower, end. They may want a Mercedes, but a Kia will do for the moment. They may want a $1200 iPhone, but their old phone, or an Android will do for the moment. You can hunt for a job on an LG phone or an iPhone 5C as well as you can on an iPhone XS. But in hard times the latter won't leave you enough to buy dinner.

    Yes I am expecting the economy to take a bad turn this year. A very bad turn.

    I don’t recall the crash of 2008 having sent Apple’s fortunes tumbling into the dirt, but anything is possible. Apple has been criticized for decades about their pricing, but plenty of people like me find Apple products superior, and we pay for that. 

    I love how Daniel goes straight at the so-called journalists out there, like Gurman, Joanna Stern, and the putzes at the Verge. They do whatever they can to paint Apple in its worst light and do the exact opposite with Android, Google, Samsung, et al. They are propagandists, pure and simple.


    StrangeDaysbakedbananaswatto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 56
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 1,725member
    Nice flawed analysis. 

    Among the issues, price is not an absolute parameter; it has to be taken in context. Including the bottom of the line models to drag down the averages obscures the cost of the top of the line models. When the iPhone first came out those weren’t available. You can argue inflation, but inflation and technology don’t really go hand in hand; just look at most other tech items. Typically, prices decrease over time or at most stay the same while features increase. Price also needs to be take in the context of the market. When the iphone was introduced, it was so far beyond the competition that there was no competition. Now you can get other, full-featured smart phones for signficantly less. 
    78Banditmuthuk_vanalingamhentaiboyelijahgkestral
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