Newsletter Issue #935: Apple’s 4Q 2017 Financials and Other Considerations

October 30th, 2017

So let’s look at what’s going on. Apple claims that demand for the iPhone X, due to ship on Friday, November 3rd, as “off the charts.” But that is typical corporate speak from Apple. True, stocks ran out for preorders within minutes, but just how many units did Apple have on hand to ship?

CEO Tim Cook says there will be stocks at Apple Stores if you get there early, but how many? A few dozen for each store? It’s hard to tell, and Apple is not making promises about having sufficient supplies; the question isn’t being answered except by the critics who have cited chapter and verse about alleged production hiccups. That Apple couldn’t ship the iPhone X until weeks after the iPhone 8 series arrived does seem to confirm that it is taking longer for production to ramp up.

After that, there have been confirmed rumors that Apple deliberately reduced accuracy of the iPhone’s Face ID feature due to production limitations. Apple denies the story, originating at Bloomberg, which may actually be contrary to common sense. Developing any new tech gadget, especially one at the cutting edge, is going to entail tradeoffs and compromises. Consider the sacrifices Samsung made with the Galaxy S8 and its facial and iris recognition features that can be defeated with digital photographs. That’s the sort of tradeoff that Apple’s critics won’t mention since it’s not about Apple.

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