Every new iPhone, including the somewhat controversial iPhone X, is almost always welcomed with great enthusiasm and equally great sales numbers. But if the reports that are just coming in are accurate, this year could be a bit different for the tech giant. Because while the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and even the iPhone XR have mostly been positively reviewed, actual demand has been less than encouraging. In fact, Apple may already be introducing discounts for the iPhone XR, at least in Japan.
It may come as a bit of a surprise, but Japan is actually one of the iPhone’s biggest customers. So when iPhone XR demand is so low that Apple is initiating discounts and promos already, you might think something’s amiss. Even worse when last year’s iPhone 8, which is a lot cheaper than the roughly $750 iPhone XR, is actually more popular.
It’s not uncommon for Apple to make discounts but it’s definitely rare for it to do within the same month as the smartphone’s launch. This pretty much supports reports that Apple is cutting down production of the three 2018 models because of lower than expected demand. It hasn’t, however, initiated any similar discounts for the iPhone XS and XS Max and even the iPhone XR promos seem to be limited to Japan for now.
Apple has also reportedly restarted production of last year’s iPhone X but not exactly because it is more popular. According to the same report, Apple is doing so in order to fill the orders of OLED displays it bought from Samsung. And since it’s ramping down iPhone XS and XS Max production, the only other choice is to use those panels on the iPhone X. Fortunately, components and manufacturing equipment used for that have become cheaper by now.
The story is far from over though and could still end positively for Apple in the long run. The colorful and plastic iPhone 5c similarly started with lower sales but picked up about a year later. And selling the iPhone X at a more affordable price would still translate to profits for Apple anyway. In other words, this might just be a small hiccup everyone will forget in a few months.