Archive for January 2, 2019

AirPower Misses 2018 Ship Date….. And It Is Another Sign That Apple Is In Very Deep Trouble

Posted in Commentary with tags on January 2, 2019 by itnerd

During Apple’s September 2017 event, Apple announced AirPower which was supposed to be a Qi compliant charging mat that would allow you to charge multiple devices. Say an iPhone, a set of EarPods and an Apple Watch. Here was the announcement via CNet:

AirPower was supposed to ship in “2018”. However as I type this it is January 2nd 2019 and AirPower hasn’t shipped. Apple refused to acknowledge the product at its September and October events in 2018. They’ve also scrubbed their website of all references of the product. Rumor has it that the core issue is that they can’t solve issues with overheating. But it isn’t known if that’s fact or not as Apple in typical Apple fashion has refused to comment on this, or state if the product will ever be released.

If you’re an Apple fanboy, this is not a good sign. Not because you won’t get your really cool and fancy charging mat. But because this is symptomatic of problems within Apple. Namely:

  • Hardware quality issues: The big example of this is the bent iPad Pros which in many cases come out of the box that way that Apple claims is “normal”. (Sorry but if you pay $1000 for a tablet, that is not normal). But can also be extended to the issues that the i9 MacBook Pros had with thermal throttling among other items such as #BatteryGate. For a company that prides itself on putting out quality products, this has to be concerning.
  • Software quality issues: iOS 12 is a dogs breakfast of a mess with a pile of bugs that Apple is unable to fix including cellular and WiFi issues that plague many iOS users. Not to mention a watchOS update that bricked Apple Watches left and right.  For a company that prides itself on putting out software that is supposed to be better than the guys in Redmond, this has to be concerning.
  • Pricing: Apple over the holidays aggressively offered up incentives for people to buy the latest iPhones. Specifically the iPhone XR. But really, they wanted you to buy any of the new iPhones. Clearly they’re not selling as fast as Apple would like. Maybe the fact that they’re priced so high that nobody can afford them has something to do with that. But we’ll likely have to guess at that as they’ve stopped reporting iPhone sales as a line item in their quarterly reports. I’m guessing they know that the writing is on the wall when it comes to iPhone sales which is a problem for a company who relies on iPhone sales to power their revenue and profit numbers.

It is hard to escape the fact that Apple is clearly in trouble. And the inability of the folks at Apple Park to ship AirPower is just the latest sign of that. What we could be witnessing is the end of the halcyon days of Apple. And as it is was suggested in this tweet, it could be the story of 2019:

The flipside to that is that Apple could stage a stunning comeback (again) and prove me wrong. Let’s watch and see which outcome takes place. But I for one am not holding my breath.

UPDATE: As if on cue, Apple published a letter from CEO Tim Cook pretty much confirming what many had thought. Apple is lowering its revenue and gross margin guidance for Q1 2019 citing a US/China trade war and “fewer iPhone upgrades.” Apple Watch Series 4, iPad Pro, MacBook Air, and AirPods were constrained during the holiday season, leading to an inability to keep up with demand, and customers taking advantage of “significantly reduced pricing for iPhone battery replacements.” In other words #BatteryGate was a factor.

Apple is in deep trouble.

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