Apple fanboys expected the company to raise prices on products. They saw the price rises as proof that they were getting what they paid for. It didn’t matter that much that the iPhone 7 was not noticeably different from the iPhone 6 they believed in the myth.
However last year Apple’s price rises were a kick in the nuts to that sort of faith. At no point could you see the new iPhones as being anything other than expensive for what you get.
The flagship XS and XS Max phones had more power, but fanboys noticed that their old iPhone 6S and 7 devices ran just fine. Faith-wise this meant that fanboys had finally worked out that the Emperor had no clothes. This is dangerous for a style over function outfit like Apple. If fanboys have worked out, there is no need to upgrade their entire business model is doomed.
It seemed that fanboys got the message that Apple really hated them, and was just gouging them for money like the bullies at school.
Sales figures fell as Apple cancelled orders realising that the game was up. In a bid to get rid of its inventory, Apple started putting misleading, but seemingly consumer-friendly posters, in front of Apple Stores at the end of 2018 offering a new iPhone model for $300 off.
A price cut was unheard of in Apple land.
"This should be a wake-up call for Apple", said Daniel Ives, an analyst with Wedbush Securities. "They swung, and they missed."
But it was not just iPhones that saw price increases. Apple jacked up the price of its top-of-the-line iPad to $1,000 as well (or more than $2,800 for a loaded model) and added $300 to the cost of the Mac Mini and new MacBook Air computers.
All this appears to be to keep Apple’s financials looking good while the sales are falling.
Apple will still find dumb fanboys who still believe. It is expected to find more than 200 million iPhones and the price increase should cover the loss.
What Apple needed to do was come up with a new iPhone or Ipad and expect that the iPhone was going to die eventually. Instead it relied on the financial process of its cash cow milking machine and the stupidity of its fanboys. Rather than innovation or real improvements it came up with cheap decorations on the Macs.
Where it did come up with a new product, it was overpriced and stupid. The HomePod, Apple's pricey, $349 connected-speaker answer to the Amazon Echo and Google Home speakers fizzled despite being reviewed by journalists in the Tame Apple Press who had never heard a proper stereo.
In short, Apple was arrogant and it paid for it in 2018. Our guess is that it will not do particularly well in 2019 either unless it moves away from its iPhone obsession and comes up with a new gadget.
We do not think this is likely.
Apple is already showing signs that it is suffering from the same problem that Microsoft did. It has become too big and its structure stifles competence and innovation. At the moment its software and hardware is not getting the same Q/A that it used to. Its hardware is getting less reliable and is not updated enough. The Tame Apple Press too is starting to lose interest. You can only tell your readers “this product is great” knowing you are lying so many times before your readers start to think you don’t know what you are talking about.