PYMNTS’ Twitter followers weren’t too excited about the latest from Apple: In an informal poll, more than half of respondents told us they were not impressed by the new iPhones 8 or X, Apple Watch or Apple TV, which were all revealed this week on Sept. 12.
It seems stock market investors were not that impressed with Apple either. The tech giant’s stocks dipped 0.4 percent immediately after the special event and plunged another 2.1 percent on Wednesday, when it was announced that the just-unveiled, $999 iPhone X will not hit stores until November.
The iPhone X is the high-end (some are saying “super” and even “ultra” luxury) model of Apple’s smartphone, featuring a bezel-less display and facial recognition in place of TouchID user verification. It has reportedly run into manufacturing delays and can only produce 10,000 units a day.
Analysts at Seeking Alpha predicted that consumers would want to hold the iPhone X in their hands before deciding whether to buy that or the new iPhone 8, which could drive down initial sales of the 8 and 8 Plus models of the smartphone. The New York Post quoted one analyst as saying that this could make for an underwhelming holiday quarter in terms of sales. CNBC quoted another who didn’t think it would be a big factor in the long run and could even boost stock performance in the March quarter.
CNBC also noted that enthusiasm for the new Apple products was already reflected in stock prices, and yesterday’s slight dip doesn’t negate the 39 percent growth the company saw to date this year. The report’s author was “encouraged” by the new iPhone cycle, touting augmented reality enablement, wireless charging and other features as plenty of justification for the price.
Even without the manufacturing delays, however, some analysts did not feel the iPhone X upgrades justified the $999 price point. Many are still trying to get a pulse on consumer demand for such an expensive product.
MarketWatch noted that it doesn’t matter whether “people” in general think $999 is too much to spend on a phone. What matters is that some will pay it, and the factor that determines the iPhone X’s success will be whether there are enough of them for Apple to turn a solid profit.
The news report compared Apple’s luxury tech goods to another luxury product: Swiss watches. Could the average person imagine spending $3,000, $8,000 or more on a timepiece? It sounds crazy to most, but those companies stay afloat, proving that some people do it. Those are the people who will buy the iPhone X, says the MarketWatch report.
In which case, why settle for $999? Those shoppers would pay two or three times as much without blinking an eye.
Reuters said that Apple’s dipping stocks were a smear on an otherwise positive global stock vista following its special event. The U.S. dollar is strong, data showed a surge in crude oil inventories following Hurricane Harvey and the yield on government rose to hit a two-and-a-half week high. But Apple pulled down global equity markets, Reuters said, and European chipmakers who supply the tech giant suffered most of all, despite a top performance year to date.
As the Street noted, Swiss watchmakers also felt some pressure from the Series 3 Apple Watch Wednesday morning.