With 2 1/2 months to go before we welcome 2018, big questions for Apple remain.
2017 has been a weird year for Apple. Even though the company introduced new iPhones six weeks ago, it still hasn’t released its latest flagship device, the iPhone X. We’re also waiting for the arrival of the HomePod speaker and iMac Pro, products first announced four months ago.
1. How bad (or good) were early iPhone 8 sales?
Usually, Apple’s fourth fiscal quarter (July through September) ends with a nice uptick in iPhone sales after one or two mostly flat quarters. Probably not this year.
KGI Securities called early iPhone 8/iPhone 8 Plus sales “stable,” at best. We’ll know for sure on Thursday, Nov. 2 when the company announces its FY 17 Fourth Quarter Results.
Is it a coincidence the iPhone X goes on sale less than 24 hours later on Friday, Nov. 3? Perhaps not.
Prediction: Watch for Apple to hype early iPhone X sales during its Nov. 2 conference call with investors to offset weaker than normal fourth quarter sales.
2. When will the iPhone X really arrive?
Like millions of would-be buyers, I’ll be attempting to place an iPhone X pre-order at 12:01 a.m. PDT on Friday, Oct. 27 with the hopes of receiving my handset one week later. Unfortunately, with production on the new phone only now picking up the pace, it’s likely most will miss out on a Nov. 3 delivery date.
If not Nov 3, when? The delayed release of the iPhone X has already hurt Apple’s fourth-quarter sales numbers. Cupertino will pull out all the stops to make sure FY 18 First Quarter Results is one of its best on record.
Prediction: Everyone who orders an iPhone X within the first three days of pre-orders will be guaranteed delivery by Christmas, Dec. 24. After that, you’ll have to wait until January.
3. When is the HomePod's release date?
Apple promised a December HomePod release date. However, there’s a big difference between Dec. 1 and Dec. 31, especially with the all-important holiday shopping season looming.
Prediction: With all of the struggles Apple has faced with the iPhone X, watch for the company to release the HomePod as early as possible. Expect pre-orders to begin around Thanksgiving Day in the United States (Nov. 23) with the first orders being delivered around Dec. 1.
4. What about the iMac Pro?
The iMac Pro was also announced at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in June. Like the HomePod, it too will make its first appearance in December. But when?
Prediction: Watch for the iMac Pro to arrive in limited quantities by Dec. 10 with most early shipments out the door before New Year’s Eve.
5. How many software updates will Face ID require?
It seems every new iPhone has an initial problem or concern that the media likes to highlight. The most recent examples being “bendgate” with the iPhone 6 Plus and “antennagate” with the iPhone 4.
Prediction: Apple will hear a lot of early complaints about Face ID, which replaces Touch ID for authentication on the iPhone X. Most of this criticism, however, will quickly resolve with usage. Nonetheless, at least one or two minor Face ID problems will require a software update to fix.
What questions for Apple do you have? Let us know below.