Crunch time for Apple as iPhone fanfare fades

Shruti Tripathi Chopra
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Apple Holds Product Launch Event At New Campus In Cupertino
Apple’s shares have fallen nearly one per cent since the launch of the new iPhones in September (Source: Getty)

The iPhone turned 10 this year but despite the obvious benefits of technological progress, does it continue to improve with age?

For a tech giant that’s tipped to be the world’s first $1 trillion company, Apple is falling behind on innovation with its flagship product.

Analysis out this week showed that more people are buying last year’s iPhone 7 than the iPhone 8 which was released last month. One of the lures of the iPhone was that it was a status symbol. For early adopters, it was like the difference between travelling economy and business class. But it’s hard for all but the keenest fans to tell the two latest models apart. Tiny tweaks don’t justify the leap in price.

Read more: iPhone 8 review: Apple's "other" iPhone has been edged out of the spotlight

Investors aren’t that impressed, either. Apple’s shares have fallen nearly one per cent since the launch of the new iPhones in September. It’s hardly a massive slide, but economists have warned that the reception for the iPhone 8 and iOS 11, Apple’s new operating system, “looks less than exciting”.

“We’re worried that some of the best-laid plans here are not really going to come to pass,” said Max Wolff, chief economist at Disruptive Technology Advisers, yesterday. The lack of fanfare for the iPhone 8 has also been blamed on Apple fanatics waiting for the iPhone X, Apple’s most expensive iPhone to date, which goes on sale in November. But how revolutionary are the new features?

Read more: Does the new iPhone signal a leap forward in smartphone technology?

Samsung and other rivals already have the edge-to-edge display the iPhone X boasts. Other rivals including Google and LG offer far better camera resolution and the fact that its facial technology features have prompted a top US senator to raise privacy concerns doesn’t help either.

Having a new animated emoji machine is not enough to make people buy a $1,000 phone. To add to Apple’s problems, Taiwan manufacturers claim Apple has told them to reduce shipments of the iPhone X because the tech giant is scaling back on its ambitions for sales of the device.

In a ruthlessly competitive market, Apple boss Tim Cook needs to go back to the drawing board and follow Steve Jobs’ advice: “Stay hungry, stay foolish”.

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