iPhone X was a double-edged sword for Apple’s earnings

The iPhone X is a bit of a mixed bag when it comes to Apple's earnings. The company just reported its first quarter 2018 financial results, a period that includes the busy holiday shopping season. 

On one hand, overall iPhone sales were down, with Apple recording 77.3 million units sold. That's about 1.3% below the 78.3 million iPhones that Apple sold during last year's holiday period.

On the flip side, the 10th-anniversary iPhone helped push Apple's iPhone revenue up by 13% compared to the same quarter last year. This contributed to Apple reporting its biggest quarter ever with $88.3 billion in revenue. 

The iPhone X, according to Apple, has been the top-selling iPhone every week since it went on sale. And yet it wasn't enough to prevent Apple from seeing a dip in holiday iPhone sales, which almost never happens.  

Price matters

But while sales were down, the big jump in iPhone revenue is undoubtedly attributable to the iPhone X price. The starting price for the iPhone X is $999 / £999 / AU$1,579. Sell enough phones at $1,000 apiece, and you'll see the return.

The iPhone X is heralded by many as the most revolutionary iPhone ever, with new features such as Face ID, a TrueDepth camera and Animoji infusing some excitement into the 10-year-old iPhone line.  

Yet reports of the iPhone X being a failure have increased in recent weeks, with some even suggesting it would drop out of production in spring 2018. 

Today's results don't paint it as a failure… yet. The iPhone X certainly brought in the revenue, despite lower-than-expected sales for the iPhone overall. 

Where does Apple go from here? This time next year, the company may be in a similar situation. The iPhone X2 is expected to be a modest upgrade, while the most groundbreaking iOS 12 features have reportedly been shelved for the time being to focus on less enticing stability and security fixes. Of course, Apple will be working to beat today's weaker sales numbers and bounce back, but how it does so remains unclear. 

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