Apple’s decision to delay the release of its new flagship phone – the iPhone X – may be costing the tech giant more than expected, analysts suggest.
While the new iPhone 8 is set to be released to the public on Friday, September 22, the high-end model will not be available until November 3.
And according to leading tech commentators, pre-orders for the incremental update are suffering as a result.
“What is happening is that they are holding out for the bigger release, it puts the [iPhone] 8 in an awkward position for a handset,” Queensland University of Technology mobile expert Dr Christine Satchell told The New Daily.
“Even though the iPhone X [standard model $A1245] is exceedingly expensive, the iPhone 8 [standard model $A871] is also very expensive. From a financial commitment you can get the superior model for not that much more input, people will likely hold off.
“I think it is interesting that they would jeopardise the iPhone 8 with the fanfare of the X. They sort of shot themselves in the foot there.
“It’s just not offering enough bang for your buck compared to the X.”
It comes after a report from KGI Securities Ming-Chi Kuo stating the high demand for the iPhone X would “cannibalise” iPhone 8 pre-orders, and that Apple has already been hit with unusually low interest in the smartphone.
“Historically, it takes three to six weeks, or more, to ship new iPhone models after they are available for pre-order, due to initial tight supply and robust demand,” Mr Kuo said.
“However, our latest review indicates it will take less than one to two weeks for the iPhone 8. We believe this is because there is a strong likelihood that iPhone X demand will cannibalise iPhone 8 pre-orders.”
Loup Ventures’ Gene Munster echoed the findings, with global research showing both the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus available to be shipped one to two weeks after launch day.
Apple was unable to confirm sales figures, but confirmed the one- to two-week shipping time for the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus.
Dr Satchell said users are holding off as a result of the iPhone 8’s lack of innovation and differentiation from the iPhone 7, which is already available.
“From what I can gather, the iPhone 8 doesn’t represent a huge hardware paradigm shift from the previous version,” she said.
“Everyone is holding out for the iPhone X because there seems such incremental advancements in the 8 as opposed to the X, which is really being heralded as being jam-packed with new innovation.
“It’s just a much more sophisticated and far superior platform with a higher level of functionality across the board.
“I think in this case, it’s too incremental, it’s not offering enough enhanced functionality, especially hardware-wise and when there’s another one looming on the horizon so quickly following it, it’s easy to see why people would hold off and wait for the superior model.”
The iPhone X is 5.7 inches (14.48 centimetres), while handset sizes remain unchanged for iPhone 8 (compared with the iPhone 7) at 4.7 inches (11.9 centimetres) for the standard model and 5.5 inches (13.97 centimetres) for the iPhone 8 Plus.
Both handset models are powered by a new A11 bionic processor; a six-core processor containing Apple’s first ever graphics processing unit.
However, iPhone X has a number of new implementations the iPhone 8 does not, including OLED technology, an all-new Super Retina Display, dual 12MP cameras with dual optical image stabilisation and a new facial recognition feature, called Face ID.