Without fail, when someone dares to suggest Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is fallible and that AAPL stock has the potential to lose value, the fanboys come out in spades and “explain” to that person that they simply don’t appreciate the greatness of the company’s products and the profitability of the corporation. This time around isn’t apt to be any different.
Nevertheless, simply because small things can end up being big things — and knowing companies are sometimes knocked off pedestals without any warning — a trio of problems with the recently unveiled and hotly touted iPhone X may in some way be a sign that Apple’s passion for perfection is a thing of the past.
It’s a reality that should have smart investors at least wondering if AAPL stock has lost the luster it had when Steve Jobs was at the helm.
3 Things Wrong With the iPhone X
Giving credit where it’s due, Apple’s newest smartphone is an amazing device, functionally and conceptually. The relatively small phone boasts a relatively large screen by using all the “real estate” available to it, the onboard camera is as powerful as any professional-caliber digital camera and the ability to charge the device wirelessly is a big hit.
On the flipside, AAPL stock holders have already (or soon will) learn about a few too many flaws with the iPhone that simply wouldn’t have been allowed to exist at a different time for the company. Three of them are conspicuous enough imply Apple is losing its touch when it comes to the quality that its loyal fans fell in love over the course of the past decade.
1. OLED Screen Burn-In
Users of the newest iPhone will likely have noticed the screen is sharper and more vibrant than smartphone screens they’ve seen in the past. There’s a reason. Apple is using an OLED (organic light emitting diodes) screen, which is amazing to be sure, but will eventually result in burn in, or the permanent “ghosting” of a displayed image on the physical screen, even when that image isn’t being displayed on-screen.
It’s not Apple’s fault, to be fair. Burn-in is a reality for all OLED screens. But since Apple made a choice to use OLED technology though — and arguably didn’t have to — it’s going to be held accountable by frustrated customers.
2. Face ID Is … Squirrely
Generally speaking, nobody ever really expects perfection from an app or a feature that’s ultimately designed to make a judgment call. But, in light of the fact that Apple touted the iPhone X’s Face IF security feature as much as it did, one would have thought it worked practically flawlessly.
That’s not the case. At least in once instance the phone couldn’t distinguish between an iPhone X’s true owner and his similar-looking-but distinguishable brother.
It’s also a challenge to use in sunlight.
In both cases the problems seem to be an exception rather than the norm, but given the hype, consumers were expecting more.
3. Oddly Fragile
No smartphone is meant to be dropped or tossed around, but for the most part they’re all surprisingly durable considering the sensitive electronic in each one. The iPhone X, however, has been deemed by some to be the “most breakable iPhone ever.”
Granted, that shouldn’t be too surprising. The form factor is an all-glass one, and even the toughest glass in the world is still glass. It’s also in complete contrast, however, to the way Apple described the iPhone X’s shell on its website, which explained “The front and back are all glass — the most durable we’ve ever made, with a strengthening layer that’s 50 percent deeper.”
Bottom Line for AAPL Stock
Don’t read too much into the message. This isn’t a suggestion that the AAPL stock price is en route to zero, nor is it to say Apple still isn’t the most competitive consumer tech company in the world. It is to say, however, things change — it’s hard to stay on top forever.
On the other hand, these shortcomings are strangely un-Apple-like, and they’re hardly the only flaws. There’s also the annoying — and completely preventable — autocorrect feature that’s turning lower-case i’s into an “A[?]” (though that’s supposed to be fixed soon) and some users have struggled to activate their iPhones.
Neither are problems with the hardware per se, but for a device that starts at a sticker price of $1,000 from a company with a stellar reputation for seamlessness, these are all things that should leave AAPL stock holders scratching their heads. This wasn’t the way it used to be, as Steve Jobs thought everything through beforehand, and tested, tested, tested.
Indeed, it leaves investors wondering if Apple has gotten sloppy in other ways we don’t know about yet.
As of this writing, James Brumley did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. You can follow him on Twitter.