Apple wraps up 2018 as one of the most valuable companies in the world, with profits in the billions, and a new product line including three new mobile devices, and even computers.
However, a lot has happened during these past 12 months, both positive and less than positive. On one hand, Apple was the first American company to hit a market value of $1 trillion. On the other hand, Apple found itself involved in heated lawsuits with Qualcomm. Here is a more detailed synopsis of some of Apple’s most memorable moments in 2018:
Battery Planned Obsolescence
In December 2017, users found out the company was reducing iPhone speed with older batteries. The company explained that it limited the battery performance because old batteries couldn’t handle the peaks of activity produced by newer iOS versions, causing the phone to turn off unexpectedly. This move, however, resulted in a few negative consequences: battery update programs, software updates, and fines, in addition to the public backlash.
Throughout 2018, owners of iPhone 6 and newer devices paid $29 for a battery change, almost 70% less than the regular price. Whoever paid more in 2017 was also reimbursed, and in March the iOS 11.3 launched the Battery Health visibility feature, where users can see if their iPhone is suffering any limitations due to battery performance.
Qualcomm: The New Arch Enemy
According to Apple, Qualcomm charges abusive prices for royalties and declares that the Snapdragon’s owner owes them around US$1 billion dollars that were obtained through unfair advantages. On the other hand, Qualcomm accused Apple of not paying US$7 billion in royalties for modems, antennas, and other technologies. During this dispute, Apple stopped utilizing Qualcomm products and components.
$1 Trillion Company
Apple’s business took a new leap in 2018, reaching a historic benchmark market value of US$1 trillion. It’s the first American company to reach this level, although the amount has been dropping in these past weeks with the disastrous iPhone XR sales performance.
The strong profits come from the fact that the company was able to increase the iPhone sale prices, around $793, boosted by the positive results that came from the $1,000 iPhone X sales.
The iPhone XR Fiasco
Even though Apple no longer reports sales numbers, there are enough indicators from the falling numbers in the supply chain to indicate the downward trend on the iPhone XR sales. Besides that, Apple is cutting the wholesale cost of the iPhone in China, hoping that this way, carriers will put more effort into selling the newer device, since they’ll have larger margins.
Another indicator that the newest iPhones are not meeting Apple’s internal sales targets is the increase in bundled extras, including an unheard $300 discount to customers willing to trade in an older iPhone directly to Apple. You can now purchase an iPhone X for as low as $449, by trading in an iPhone 7 Plus in good conditions.
It’s going to hard to beat their own success since Apple already earns 86% of the industry’s profits. With all of the challenges mentioned above, from slow sales to the battle with Qualcomm, one thing is for sure, 2019 will be a big year for Apple.