Long queues outside Apple stores ahead of iPhone X launch

Herbert Rhodes
November 3, 2017

If Apple falters, investors are likely to dump its stock after driving the shares up by 45% so far this year on the expectation that the iPhone X will be the company's biggest hit yet. Revenue came to $52.6 billion, an increase of 12 percent year-over-year. The company's net income rose to $10.71 billion in the fourth quarter from $9.01 billion a year earlier.

With this fall's blockbuster launch of three new iPhones, including the dramatically redesigned iPhone X, most Apple-related attention is on the company's smartphone line. The real question is: Can Apple fulfill demand, or will sales be hampered by previously-reported supply chain issues?

In the past few days, several media reports have claimed that Apple is facing a huge supply gap primarily for two reasons: difficulties in assembling the new facial identification software and 3D camera, and "off the charts" pre-orders for iPhone X after the Apple fraternity didn't make the expected beeline for iPhone 8 and 8 Plus. It had its best quarter ever, Apple said, with $8.5 billion in revenues, up 34% from the year-ago quarter.

The company sold 46.7m iPhones, beating analysts' estimates of 46.4m, according to FactSet, and generating $28.9bn in revenue, which accounted for more than half of the company's total revenue.

Q4 revenue: $50.7 billion expected by Thomson Reuters. Apple has been flirting with a trillion-dollar valuation, and had a value of $868 billion at market close.

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Apple opened pre-orders for the iPhone X on October 27 and has said demand has been "off the charts", although some analysts have been anxious about supply chain issues that might prevent the company from making enough phones to satisfy demand. It competes with a range of revamped Echo speakers from Amazon.com Inc. and Google's Home devices.

Telsyte managing director Foad Fadaghi said demand for Apple's premium smartphone would rise even after its launch as buyers who held out to see the handset made up their minds, and Australia's iPhone 6 and 6S users jumped on the chance to upgrade. Updated MacBook Pro models helped move 5.3 million Macs, up 10 percent from a year ago.

"The ramp for iPhone X is going well", said Cook. Sales of iPads continued to bounce back after a slump, with revenue up 14%.

The innovation may prove an important step on the path to Apple's potential next big product, smart glasses, for which CEO Cook has created a dedicated team.

Other reports by TheSundaySentinel

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