Tim Cook dunks on iPhone X FUD: Still the best-seller

Prior to Apple's Q2 2018 results, a narrative ran like wildfire through the industry: iPhone X wasn't selling well. It was failing and it would make Apple fail with it. Hard.

It was ill-informed and, frankly, stupid. But publication after publication, person after person, fell for it. Instead:

"Customers chose iPhone X more than any other iPhone each week in the March quarter, just as they did following its launch in the December quarter. We also grew revenue in all of our geographic segments, with over 20% growth in Greater China and Japan."

That according to Apple's CEO, Time Cook, who also reported iPhone X was the top selling smartphone in China, and Apple had three top-selling phone in total. This following reports Apple was failing in China.

Some might think was politely pointing out how terrible reporting around iPhone X has been. But it's actually been worse than that.

Time and again, analysts and pundits grabbed at myopic supply chain data or rumor to paint a picture of iPhone X being too expensive and of the market rejecting it and, by extension, Apple. And reporters gobbled up and amplified the innuendo because it was sensational and attention-getting.

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Very few stopped and remembered Tim Cook once saying using single pieces of information from the supply chain never resulted in an accurate image of Apple's product performance. Very few stopped and considered that the higher priced iPhone X wouldn't need the numbers of previous flagships to score the same revenue and, if it did get the numbers, the revenue would be even higher. Very few paused to think what the unique three flagship strategy — iPhone X, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone 8 — would mean for iPhone X in specific and iPhone as a whole.

This isn't the first time record-breaking Apple revenue has been preceded by record-breaking Apple doomsaying. On the contrary, it happens all the time. Even those who have access to bits of information about Apple don't always have context for the information or insight into how the company works.

But, the negative narratives are sensational enough to garner pundits and the media outlets that regurgitate them ungodly amounts of attention. And they're disruptive enough to let market players manipulate the stock.

It's in everyone's best interests to feed the FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt). Everyone, but ours — customers and people who simply want an honest, accurate account of how iPhone and Apple are doing.

We deserve better. But, to get it, we have to start demanding it.

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Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.