[THE INVESTOR] Investors worldwide appear to be less than impressed with Apple’s latest smartphone lineup, in particular, the high-end iPhone X.
“Apple CEO Tim Cook claimed in his speech at the launch event that he believes Steve Jobs would be proud of what Apple has done, but I don’t think he would have felt that way with the new iPhones,” Lee Seung-woo, an analyst at IBK Investment and Securities, said in an investment report.
His comments reflected the prevailing investor sentiment, as Apple shares closed 0.4 percent lower at US$160.86 on Sept. 12, the day the US tech firm unveiled the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and the iPhone X.
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With the premium iPhone X, Apple has tried to put focus on packing new technologies. The California-based tech firm adopted a facial recognition solution, called the Face ID, in the X model while removing the traditional home button with the fingerprint scanner. The OLED-based Super Retina display was also installed for the first time in the iPhone variant, which marks the 10th anniversary of the smartphone brand. Prices begin at US$999 for the 64GB variant.
Most of the hardware features introduced in the iPhone X, such an edge-to-edge OLED screen, a facial recognition solution, however, are already getting outdated, according to analysts. Rival Samsung Electronics has been using an OLED-based screen for the past six years, and with the Galaxy S7, it showed off a near bezel-less screen. Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8 has facial recognition, a whopping 6.3-inch OLED screen with a super-slim bezel, 6GB RAM and also offers wireless charging.
The Nov. 3 shipment date is another setback for Apple, analysts said.
“The fact that the iPhone X will go on sale in November is a burden since loyal Apple customers may choose to wait until the premium model is out, instead choosing the other two iPhone 8 variants,” said Seo Sang-young, an analyst from securities firm Kiwoom Securities.
The two new LCD-based handsets, on the other hand, are similar in appearance with the preceding iPhone models, while adding some upgrades. For the two smartphone models, Apple chose to keep the fingerprint scanner-fitted home button and an LCD-based screen, while deploying a new chip, called the A11 Bionic chip, which also powers the iPhone X.
By Kim Young-won (firstname.lastname@example.org)