Last month, Apple introduced a new family of smartphones to appease the legions of iPhone users around the globe. The first products to take the stage with the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, which are enhanced versions of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus that debuted last year. The real "star" of the show, however, was the iPhone X, which is an all-new model with minimal bezels, Face ID and an OLED display.
The iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus were first made available in the retail market on September 22nd, and according to industry analysts, customers haven't exactly been won over by the new phones. KeyBanc Capital Markets analyst John Vinh says that surveys conducted with wireless carriers show that customers are still flocking to the iPhone 7, and there a few reasons why.
“Many respondents indicated that a meaningful portion of customers are buying iPhone 7 in lieu of the new iPhone 8, given the lack of significant enhancements in the new phone,” said Vinh. “Feedback from stores indicate customers are waiting to purchase the iPhone X or to compare the iPhone X before buying the iPhone 8."
The first point that Vinh mentions, is that many customers simply don't see enough of a reason to step up to the iPhone 8, which starts at $699 ($799 for the iPhone 8 Plus). For comparison, the older iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus are currently available from $549 and $669 respectively. Couple the lower pricing with the fact that many aren't enamored with the faster A11 Bionic processor and Qi wireless charging (which charges slower than over Lightning), and you can see why some customers are apprehensive to going the iPhone 8 route. And we also can't forget to mention that the design language of the iPhone 8 is getting rather stale at this point, having already previously served on the iPhone 6, iPhone 6s, and iPhone 7 families.
The other point that Vinh makes is that some may just be holding out for the iPhone X, which offers a larger leap in functionality and design for iPhone users looking to trade up. However, it remains to be seen how many are willing to part with at least $999 for the iPhone X ($1,149 for a model with 256GB of internal storage).
Vinh also mentions that carrier promotions for the iPhone 8 haven't exactly been earth-shattering, which is also leading customers to the cheaper iPhone 7 family.
In other news, IDC is reporting that Huawei could be on track to surpass Apple in global smartphone shipments as early as the 2017 calendar year. As of the second quarter, Apple had sold 41 million smartphones compared to 38.5 million for Huawei. However, Huawei sales are accelerating, which could make it an even stronger challenger to Samsung's dominance in the market.