Apple Not Selling As Many iPhones As Expected So They’ll Lower Production By 10%

Farai Mudzingwa Avatar

Back in September Apple released their new phones like they always do and they then followed up these releases with the new iPad. All these devices were met by stellar reviews on YouTube and in the mainstream media but consumers weren’t the biggest of fans and the sales paint a different picture.

Originally Apple intended to sell 48 million units of their phones between January and March and then this was cut to 43 million. Now they’ve lowered their expectations further by 10% which leaves the figure around 39 million. That’s a bucket load of sales anyway but as reported by GSMArena it’s about a 20% reduction from Apple’s 52.2 million devices sold in the first quarter of 2018.

There can only be so many “high-end” customers to sale to

The startling drop in sales has been accompanied by an increase in the pricing of iPhones. “Apple’s a lifestyle brand,” they said. You are supposedly buying into an experience like none other. The only problem with these high-end lifestyle brands is they can only be sold to so many people so prospects for growth get smaller every time you get a new user into the ecosystem.

A few years ago getting a user into the ecosystem was just the start as there was a higher likelihood of selling them something like an iPad or an Apple Watch to go along with their iPhone. There was also the likelihood that this customer would get the latest and greatest Apple iPhone upon release. The only problem now is that phones have kind of plateaued when it comes to features. It seems they’ve reached their peak and thus motivation to buy a new phone every year or even every other year seems to have died down. Same applies with the watches and iPads. You simply can’t buy those every year or every other year unless you are very privileged.

What now?

In the face of such dire consequences, it seems Apple is left with one choice. Either sale lower end, less expensive devices or watch the sales continue to tank. The only problem is no one wants to buy a less expensive iPhone because “IT’S LESS EXPENSIVE”. That’s the problem that lifestyle brands face. People buy them as status symbols and once there’s no status involved; selling that thing is trickier… We saw it with the iPhone 5C, which was a very good device (probably a better value proposition than XR) but no one really bought that. We’ve seen it with the XR. Though reviewers swore by it and thought it would sell, it seems that’s not the case.

But what about the SE

The Only time a cheaper iPhone made a dent on the market was when the iPhone SE came on the market. What does that mean? Maybe smaller/cheaper versions of the iPhone are actually a viable idea. Just as long as they don’t look like toys, which both the 5C and XR are glaringly guilty at. But even that might be a desperate lunge at things.

“Who’s foot are we shooting? Ours or the consumers?”

I believe this is the question Apple asked themselves when faced with their performance throttling scandal was unmasked last year. A user discovered that with new updates came worse performance and the fact that Apple wasn’t disclosing this turned into a heated debate. Was the company making performance as horrible as possible in order to make you buy a new iPhone? The fact that this wasn’t disclosed suggested so.

Apple refuted the claims and said the performance cuts were implemented to save on battery life. It was a valid excuse but the secrecy surrounding it leaves the whole debate in a murky area. I’m not a big fan of Apple so I believe they did it to force people to buy new phones. What do you think?

Anyway, now that Apple addressed this situation by offering $20 battery replacements, some believe this has led to a decline in sales as people no longer have to contend with crappy performance after every update.

What’s next?

Whether or not that is what’s affecting sales, what’s clear is that sales are being affected and Apple have to do something… What do you think is the answer?


  1. Tatenda

    Nice write up. I like the point you made on “phones have kind of plateaued when it comes to features”. On that same note I think that fact now makes flagship offerings from manufacturers like Huawei, Oneplus, LG more attractive; whilst they are still on the pricey side they come in at $200-$400 less than Apple with the same features. It makes it more difficult to convince a tech savvy high-end customer to buy the iPhone. Samsung will probably also experience reduced sales due to this fact.

    1. Farai Mudzingwa

      Thanks. I agree with you when it comes to Samsung, especially if they decides to sell the S10 series at the same price point as Apple. Suicide

  2. same old same old

    “Originally Apple intended to sale 48 million units of their phones”? don’t you mean they intended to SELL ?!! come on guys, get it right if you want to be taken seriously….

    1. Farai Mudzingwa

      Thanks for highlighting the error. Fixed it.

  3. Nice

    I think android is taking the market by storm esp these branded Chinese ones….the fact that Huawei is no3…is hurting the top 2 plus they cater for people with different budgets….then there’s the new comers that are really challenging the higher end phones with their phones priced at mid tier….why would you get say and s8 when you can get a pocophone F1 for half the price… Recently got a redmi 6 pro and for just 230usd the value and build quality is unbelievable…this coming from Samsung all these years…

    1. Kratos

      You should have got the mi a2 lite with Android one. I got it last month and I can’t believe that these Chinese phones are so good.

      1. Farai Mudzingwa

        Yeah, I’ve got the Mi A2, it’s a cool device

2023 © Techzim All rights reserved. Hosted By Cloud Unboxed