Apple Says iPhone X #1 Smartphone, the Rest of the World Talks about Weak Demand

A cloudy Apple crystal ball

lI’m a wee bit confused by this story: on the one hand, Apple says iPhone X is the top selling smartphone week in and week out. On the other, everyone else keeps talking about Apple slashing orders due to “weak demand.”

The latest instance of this is a story coming out of Japan’s Nikkei, which reported:

Samsung Electronics is casting about for new customers for its organic light-emitting diode panels, now that its top client Apple has slashed production of the iPhone X due to weak demand.

In the run up to Apple’s December quarter earnings report, we had a whole slew of stories about “weak demand,” orders being cut, and even reports that Apple was going to kill off the iPhone X early. Most of those stories were coming out of Asia, with sources in Apple’s supply chain being cited.s

This Guy…

Analyst Ming Chi Kuo was chief banner-man with these reports, and can we all please collectively agree to stop taking his word as gospel? He is definitely plugged into Apple’s supply chain, but he gets a lot of stuff wrong, and this story was one of the biggest ones.

A cloudy Apple crystal ball
TMO’s Dramatic Recreation of Ming Chi Kuo’s Apple Crystal Ball

Anyhoo…along come Nikkei this morning with a piece about Samsung’s OLED business. Supposedly, Samsung made too many OLED screens and  has a glut, as cheapie Chinese brands have stayed away in favor of cheaper LCD displays. And the cause of the glut? “Weak demand” for iPhone X.

Dudes, it’s the top selling smartphone in the world. It was the number one smartphone in the December quarter, despite being available for just a few weeks. It’s a great smartphone, and it’s gotten rave reviews. People love it. People are buying it. Apple is essentially printing money with the gosh darned things.

So, I don’t know what’s up with Samsung’s OLED biz, but weak demand for iPhone X has little connection to reality.


6 thoughts on “Apple Says iPhone X #1 Smartphone, the Rest of the World Talks about Weak Demand

  • Bryan:

    Why let facts get in the way of a good narrative? You’re raining on an alternative fact parade, and it’s…anachronistic, to say the least.

    I have no doubt that Samsung overestimated the market demand for OLED, not unlike what manufacturers did with the early smart TV market of old; and given Apple’s prominent share of the high end smartphone market, its easy (a euphemism for ‘intellectually lazy’) to assign that deficit in sales to Apple’s performance. And besides, ‘Apple Doomed’ is still great click bait.

    Besides, the WSJ just added another nail to the iPhone X coffin. Asia prefers Chinese devices. You know, Xiaomi, Oppo and other…originalists. The reason, price.

  • Samsung made too many OLED screens and has a glut, as cheapie Chinese brands have stayed away in favor of cheaper LCD displays.

    That right there is, IMO the root of the problem. Samsung expected OLED to sweep the market, (like you know LED rapidly replaced the older CRT phones I guess). But if everyone but Apple is racing to the bottom, trying to sell cheaper and cheaper phones on thinner and thinner margins, and OLED is more expensive, it shouldn’t be a surprise that LED is still king.

    Root Cause: Samsung blew their prediction and now have way too much OLED capacity.
    I can’t wait until mLED comes in and takes away much of the remaining OLED market. Samsung put all their eggs in the one technology basket. They will really be up the creek then.

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