This implies that the additional features being brought into the latest smartphones, such as to-the-edge displays and facial recognition, are not considered worth the premium price Apple was trying to establish. Of course, having milked the early-adopting technophiles, it may be enough for Apple to trim the price back to a more reasonable level to re-ignite demand. Indeed that is Apple's standard practice. It does appear to have over-estimated it's initial manufacturing, but better to have iPhones warehoused than to be unable to meet demand and see customers migrate to Samsung.
But some observers are seeing the iPhone X's relative flop as an indicator of global smartphone saturation and that the kudos that attached to a particular brand and model is going away…or at least going away from the smartphone to move on to some other product as a market driver.
That was certainly the tone of the senior executives of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. who recently spoke about a series of market drivers including the PC, the mobile phone and the smartphone and the idea that cryptocurrency and IoT could be next.
Another view is that the two-year cycle of consumer electronics replacement was largely driven by the two-year cycle of Moore's Law, made manifest in products by hardware, software and service providers because they knew what was good for their shareholders – if not for global ecology and sustainability.