Still haven’t upgraded your iPhone? Apple says that’s causing poor sales

When Apple issues a profit warning, you know something’s up.

The tech company did just that on Wednesday, January 2, with CEO Tim Cook citing a slew of factors weighing heavily on its business during the holiday quarter and heading into 2019.

The bottom line is that Apple is currently selling fewer phones than it expected, prompting the company to revise  its sales forecast downward for the final three months of 2018.

In a letter to investors that spooked the market and wiped $55 billion off the market capitalization of the tech colossus, Cook suggested the company may have missed as much as $9 billion in sales for the quarter. This, he said, was the result of pressure on the global economy and Apple’s failure to “foresee the magnitude of the economic deceleration, particularly in Greater China. ”

The CEO said, “In fact, most of our revenue shortfall to our guidance, and over 100 percent of our year-over-year worldwide revenue decline, occurred in Greater China across iPhone, Mac, and iPad.”

It was Cook’s view that “the economic environment in China has been further impacted by rising trade tensions with the United States,” a reference to the ongoing trade war between the U.S. and China.

He continued: “As the climate of mounting uncertainty weighed on financial markets, the effects appeared to reach consumers as well, with traffic to our retail stores and our channel partners in China declining as the quarter progressed,” adding that market data revealed the contraction in China’s smartphone market has been “particularly sharp.”

Weaker-than-expected demand for iPhone upgrades

Weaker-than-expected demand for iPhone upgrades in developing markets was also cited as a factor, as was a strong U.S. dollar and an earlier launch of the iPhone XS and XS Max compared to the iPhone X. Cook’s letter also pointed to “customers taking advantage of significantly reduced pricing for iPhone battery replacements,” a service that Apple launched in 2018 but which ended on December 31.

Interestingly, in his letter Cook declined to mention the rise of Chinese rivals as a reason for the squeeze on iPhone sales. Huawei, for example, sold 200 million phones (includes sister brand Honor) in 2018, making it the world’s second biggest smartphone manufacturer after Samsung. Apple sits in the third spot.

Cook: Apple has a “bright future” in China

Keen not to leave investors feeling too gloomy, the CEO said that despite the current difficulties, Apple’s business in China “has a bright future,” insisting that the company’s products “enjoy a strong following among customers, with a very high level of engagement and satisfaction.”

Apple’s profit warning is the first from the company in 16 years, and its first since the launch of the iPhone in 2007. But with sales of $84 billion still expected — revised downward from between $89 billion and $94 billion — few will view the current situation as a crisis for the tech firm.

In any case, its current struggles reflect the growing challenge faced by smartphone makers around the world after reports toward the end of 2018 highlighted a 6 percent drop in handset sales globally, with China again cited as one of the primary factors in the fall.


Be careful who you bokeh, jokes Apple’s latest iPhone ad

With iPhone sales under pressure, you'd think there wouldn't be much to laugh about at Apple HQ. But the company has seen fit to inject some humor into its latest handset ad, which highlights the camera's Depth Control feature.
Smart Home

Clean up with these Presidents’ Day sales on washers and dryers

Clean up with these Presidents' Day weekend sales on washers and dryers. We picked the top washers and dryers from six major online merchants, but there are many more choices. Altogether the six sites have 920 washers and dryers on sale.
Smart Home

Walmart slashes prices on Google Home during its Presidents’ Day sale

Walmart slashes prices on Google Home during its Presidents' Day sale. Whether you're taking your first step in configuring a smart home or expanding to every room, Walmart has excellent sale prices for all the key components.

Walmart drops prices on Samsung 4K TVs during Presidents’ Day sale

With 8K TVs on the horizon, the cost of owning a 4K Ultra HD television has dropped pretty significantly in recent years, and this Walmart Presidents' Day sale is offering some great prices.
Social Media

Instagram to make giving easier with a Stories donation sticker for fundraisers

Instagram is preparing to launch a donation feature within Stories that would allow users to raise cash for a range of nonprofit charities. The company confirmed it's aiming to launch the donation sticker later this year.

The Huawei P30 will zoom into view on March 26 in Paris

The Huawei P30 Pro will be announced on March 26, 2019. It has already started to leak ahead of this date, and expectations are high that the company will improve even further on the P20 Pro's camera.

First phone specs reveal premium is the path for Vivo spinoff Iqoo

A new smartphone brand has launched. It's called Iqoo, and it's a sub-brand of Vivo, the Chinese device manufacturer owned by BBK Electronics. Excitingly, details about its first phone are slowly being released.

Need speed? Qualcomm unveils the Snapdragon X55, the world’s fastest 5G modem

Qualcomm is preparing for an even faster future: The silicon giant just unveiled a second generation 5G modem for smartphones, promising blistering download speeds as high as 7Gbps.

Barbie’s Corvette ain’t got nothing on Sphero’s fully programmable robot car

Sphero is known for devices like the Sphero Bolt and BB-8 Star Wars toy, but now the company is back with another addition to its lineup -- the Sphero RVR. The RVR is a fully programmable robot car that can be expanding with different…
Home Theater

Accidentally aired Samsung ad shows Galaxy S10, Galaxy Buds a day before launch

One day before the launch event that is widely expected to contain both the new Galaxy S10 smartphone and the Galaxy Buds fully wireless earbuds, an accidentally aired Samsung TV ad from Norway confirms both products.

The name of Samsung's folding phone may have been revealed a day early

Samsung has been showcasing bendable display tech for a few years and now a folding smartphone might finally arrive. The Galaxy X, or perhaps the Galaxy Fold, may be the company's first example. Here's everything we know about it.

The Razer Phone 2 is getting Android 9.0 Pie starting this month

Android 9.0 Pie has been released. But is your phone getting Android 9.0 Pie, and if so, when? We've done the hard work and asked every device manufacturer to see when their devices would be getting the update.

Apple brings back the iPhone SE with a $100 clearance discount included

Apple is offering the iPhone SE on their online clearance store once again. With discounts of $100, you can get a brand new unlocked iPhone SE for as little as $249. This offer is only available while supplies last.
Product Review

Fascinating Finney phone is crypto in a nutshell: Exciting, but also terrifying

The Sirin Labs Finney phone is to cryptocurrency what the iPhone is to Apple Pay. It facilitates the payment, processing, and exchanging of cryptocurrencies on a smartphone, and surprisingly does it in a user-friendly way.