The real reason why Apple discontinued the iPhone X

iphone x discontinued

Apple has stopped selling the iPhone X.

Why has the iPhone X been discontinued?

Remember all the hype, leaks and rumors about the iPhone X?

Remember how Tim Cook took the stage at the 2017 Apple Event and introduced the iPhone X as “the biggest leap forward since the original iPhone?”

Then the Cupertino, California-based company has discontinued the iPhone X just before a year since it was released. Really? Apple is no longer selling the iPhone X or the iPhone 6s and SE, which means iPhones with headphone jacks are now something of the past.

Did you see that coming? Probably not. Anyway, allow me to break down the theory behind Apple discontinuing the iPhone X.

A Little Bit of History

iPhone X

First of all, you need to keep a close eye on the iPhone evolution to understand why Apple killed off the iPhone X. Second of all you need to see Apple as a business and yourself as a customer. It doesn’t matter how you play this around, the only relation that can exist between you and Apple is a business-customer relationship.

So, what does the evolution of the iPhone have to do with Apple discontinuing the iPhone X? Since the birth of the iPhone, for a certain period of time, every new model that came out was a huge step forward for the company. But in recent years, there’ve been concerns about Apple’s innovation.

Innovation takes time and lots of time. It took Apple several years to make the original iPhone, which without a doubt was a game-changer in the smartphone industry. For the tenth anniversary of the iPhone, Apple felt the obligation to bring something new to the market as they did back in 2007 with the first iPhone.

And the company did that with the introduction of the iPhone X. Face ID technology, Animoji, edge-to-edge screen, and OLED display were among the things that made the flagship device feels innovative compared to previous models.

iphone x discontinued

Slow iPhone Sales

Apple was disappointed about iPhone X sales that it slashed production to only 8 million units in Q2. Some analysts say the hefty price is to blame, others say more people are likely to hold on their phones longer now and the market isn’t really growing. As we were getting closer to the Apple Event this year, rumors have been suggested that Apple will discontinue the iPhone X and iPhone SE.

Once Apple introduced its newest gadgets, the company removed the iPhone X from its iPhone lineup along with the iPhone SE and iPhone 6S. From a financial and business point of view, it makes perfect sense for Apple to kill off its lower-end and higher-end phones. With the new iPhones, Apple hopes to address every customer’s concerns, not only those that can afford higher-priced iPhones but also those with small budgets. This year kinda feels that Apple made an iPhone for everyone.

Apple discontinuing the iPhone X makes it look like it was a prototype, an unfinished product. With the reputation that the company has built over the years, they were able to meet expectations. Why would Apple discontinue a product that will set the path for the smartphone industry for the next decade? Why would Apple discontinue a product that was the world’s best-selling smartphone model?

Cannibalization

This has never happened in the company history to discontinue an iPhone after less than a year since it was released. Keep in mind, the iPhone X was a “success”, according to Apple. They could have dropped the price once the new ones come out like they usually do every year — and still bring revenue from it for a few more years. It wouldn’t hurt, everybody would be happy.

But this year, Apple didn’t do any of that for the iPhone X. Few things can help us get to the bottom of this.

iPhone X and iPhone XS side by side
Phone X (left) Vs iPhone XS (right)

If you put side by side the iPhone X and the iPhone XS, you won’t be able to tell which one is which. They have an identical design, the same screen size, and resolution. Design-wise, they are identical twins.

The truly meaningful change in terms of hardware is the new A12 Bionic chip, which will dramatically improve performance. But the iPhone X already got the horsepower to compete against any smartphone around. There’re of course many small improvements under the hood like — better dynamic range with HDR content, improved camera, IP68 water-resistant, dual SIM support, faster wireless charging, etc. But Apple declines to define most of those improvements.

Apple's A12 Bionic chip

The point is the iPhone XS is just a minimal step up from its predecessor. Most of the so-called improvements are barely noticeable and some are not even noticeable at all. The iPhone X would definitely cannibalize the iPhone XS sales if Apple were to still sell it. Not everyone wants the latest iPhone, so they’d go for the discounted iPhone X. After all, who doesn’t want to save some money?

That’s not all. What about the iPhone XR?

Let’s say Apple had discounted the iPhone X by $100, putting it at $899. The iPhone XR starts at $749 for the entry-level. Despite the iPhone XR features Apple’s latest A12 Bionic chip, the iPhone X is by far a better product than the iPhone XR is. Customers would buy the iPhone X instead, putting the XR in a bad position.

Conclusion

Apple is the most valuable company in the world, they must have the best marketing strategies. They did the right thing by discontinuing the iPhone X.

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