Strategic releases seem to be a thing of the past over at Apple, along with seismic innovation, and not competing against itself.
The release of the iPhone8 and the iPhoneX at the same time was strange enough, but adding to that the slight separation of release dates is something Tim Cook will have to explain in small words.
Presales for the iPhone8 have been sluggish, to say the least, and while Samsung recently launched a new phone, the numbers simply don’t stack up. The reason for the lack of sales is no doubt consumers choosing to wait for the more highly specced – and much more expensive – iPhoneX to be released over the next few weeks. Of course, Apple has pointed out that these phones are targeted at different people, and that the iPhoneX is essentially a flagship product, while the iPhone8 is the next rung up from the iPhone7.
But this doesn’t make any sense either, as yet again Apple has managed to confuse incremental changes for overwhelming innovations. The removal of the home button and the adoption of a screen that covers the entire phone are hardly groundbreaking innovations, although they do have a solid novelty factor.
But why wouldn’t Apple just released the iPhone8 now, and the iPhoneX in six months time? That way, the company has a chance to do what they usually do – capitalise on the faithful Apple consumer purchasing two phones rather than one. The reason for this could be an extraordinary number of leaks that have come out of various engineering departments over the last three months, forcing Apple’s hand in relation to launching innovations before they can be duplicated by the competition. Another reason could be that Apple again thinks that it is innovating when it’s not.
Of course, the proof will be in the financial pudding and we should judge the merits of this strategy based on this and the consumer response.