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Jeff Kagan: Why Apple iPhone X Sales Are Luke Warm

Apple keeps getting itself into trouble, and once again its self-imposed.
Equities columnist Jeff Kagan is a telecom, technology and wireless analyst and consultant. He covers 5G, AI, IoT, the metaverse, autonomous driving, healthcare, telehealth, pay TV and more. Follow him at and on Twitter @jeffkagan and LinkedIn.
Equities columnist Jeff Kagan is a telecom, technology and wireless analyst and consultant. He covers 5G, AI, IoT, the metaverse, autonomous driving, healthcare, telehealth, pay TV and more. Follow him at and on Twitter @jeffkagan and LinkedIn.

Thank you to Apple (AAPL) for apologizing for the iPhone slowdown. Thank you for the discounted new battery. The next question is this. It that enough? Another question. Will you speed up the older iPhones to their previous condition once again? That’s what your customers want. There are still so many questions that are hard for Apple to answer. Let’s take a look at a few more.

Apple keeps getting itself into trouble, and once again its self-imposed. Why do they keep making mistake after mistake? Customers who once dealt with troubles in the past, like battery-gate from a few years ago, are no longer satisfied being dragged around on a leash by Apple. The marketplace is starting to push back.

Apple iPhone sales have been weaker since 2015. So, what’s going on? Why are iPhone 8 and iPhone X sales so weak?

Don’t get me wrong, I like Apple. I like their success. I like the way they, along with Google (GOOGL) Android created a new smartphone sector. I like the growth, the employment and the innovation they have brought to the marketplace. I even like their response to this crisis. Something they don’t usually do.

Trouble with Update and Siri for MacBook and iPhone

However, in the last few months there have seemed to be self-imposed problems and they don’t seem to understand what’s beginning to happen to them and their reputation. A good reputation can take a lifetime to build and a moment to lose.

Another problem is how after a recent update, suddenly the MacBook and iPhone no longer remember the passwords for sites and apps regularly visited and used. That means you must dig up the passwords and enter them all the time. This is very unlike Apple and users say this is getting on their nerves.

Siri is another problem area. Apple was first at AI and they were the best in the smartphone marketplace for a while, but those shining and innovative days seem over. How could competitors get so far ahead of Apple in AI?

Today, Google Now or Google Home, Amazon (AMZN) Alexa, Microsoft (MSFT) Cortana and others all seem to be leaving Siri behind in the dust. Amazon Echo, which is a desktop device seems to do so much more. Plus, it along with Home and Cortana are available as an app on the iPhone.

AI, IoT, Cloud Are Hot Areas of Growth in Wireless

Why is Apple falling behind the competition? That’s an important question. AI, IoT and the cloud are three of the fastest growing areas we are expanding into with smartphones, computers, digital assistants, automobiles and so much more. Mastering and leading this space is key for competitors.

So, even though users like the iPhone, if they were not able to use Home or Cortana on it, I wonder how many would move to Android. Fortunately, the Home and Cortana apps are available on the iPhone. If I were Apple, I would pay attention to this weak link in their strong change. They should make sure they are always available on the iPhone for their own sake.

New iPhone X is Not a Big Success

Another self-imposed problem is the re-design of the iOS operating system for the iPhone X. This was expected to be well received, but that’s not the case. Only a percentage of the Apple user base likes it. Others just want to learn their iPhone once, then get on with their life. They don’t want to struggle.

Walk into any wireless store and ask the staff. You may find what others are finding. Some experts like the new OS, but others do not. They say it’s confusing. They say the camera, which is the security device which turns the iPhone on doesn’t always work among other things. They prefer the OS they already know.

So, what’s the problem? Why doesn’t Apple seem to know about this issue or care about these customers? Maybe they are starting to listen. Starting to respond like with this battery issue.

In case they are not sure, let me give it to them straight. Customers are busy people. Many are OK learning a new OS, but many others are not. Backing users into a corner and forcing change on them is a good way to lose market share.

Apple iPhone Siri Weather Without Commentary

But wait, there’s more! Another Apple goof is their Siri weather feature. Ask Siri for the temperature or forecast and it gives an opinion first. What! You are not asking for Siri’s opinion. You just want to know the temperature and weather. It always seems to inject, Brrr! pretty cold. It’s 45 degrees. Who cares about Siri’s opinion? Just give users the information.

Another problem is with the new update to their iOS a few months ago. The voice used by Siri was suddenly annoying. It had a whiny tone. Thankfully, Apple realized their mistake and updated the voice and made it more mature when they updated the update recently.

Why Does Apple Keep Striking Out Recently?

So, why does Apple keep screwing up issue after issue? Sales of iPhone were highest in 2015. 2016 and now 2017 have seen weaker performance. Maybe this activity I have been describing is the reason. If you keep screwing around with your customer base, you will lose.

This has always been the Apple problem and it has not gotten any better over the last decade. Remember all the screw-ups of the past like antenna-gate? They let customers suffer for the whole year until the next generation came out. Apple didn’t seem to care about their customers with that either.

So, with these items piling up, things are getting worse, not better. Can Apple get back on the winning side? Yes, they can recover, if they understand what they are doing wrong. How they are impacting their users. The problem is I am not sure that’s the case yet.

So, Apple let me give you a smack to the side of the head. Snap out of it! Get back to doing the right thing. Excite customers. Innovate. Rock our world again. But let happy users continue doing things the way they want. Give users the choice of operating system and features. Get back on the right track and start delighting your users again before it’s too late

Jeff Kagan is an columnist. Kagan is a Wireless Analyst, Telecom Analyst, Industry Analyst, speaker and consultant. He follows wireless, wire line, telecom, Internet, cable TV, IPTV, Cloud, Mobile Pay, FinTech and communications technology. Email him at [email protected] His web site is Follow him on Twitter @jeffkagan.

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