If you're ever wondering what fake news means, just ask  Apple. Over the last week, news spread quickly that Apple was canceling the iPhone X due to poor sales. A few headlines told the story quite succinctly, such as Leaked Report Suggests End of iPhone X and Apple Leak Reveals Sudden iPhone X Cancellation. (The original report by AppleInsider  spelled it out a little more, suggesting that only the specific model would reach end of life.)

As with most fake news, there's a sliver of truth.

The iPhone X is the flagship model, the most expensive smartphone Apple has ever made. In a highly unusual move, Apple announced the iPhone 8/iPhone 8 Plus and the  iPhone X at the same time, but released the iPhone X several weeks later. It has a weird notch at the top, which is the only way to have a full-screen display that extends to the edges (for now).

Because it's such a high-end phone, there's a good chance Apple will change the design, possibly removing the notch or making the screen bigger.

A report about sales in China not reaching expectations became the basis for most of the news stories. Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo from KGI Securities said in a research note that the iPhone X would reach end of life, which is mostly true--except that the interpretation of that statement is misleading. Apple is not canceling the iPhone X. The company won't keep the original model around as a legacy phone you can still buy (as they do with older phones), but will probably replace it with another iPhone X that's better and maybe even more expensive. The truth is that the iPhone X represents the future of all iPhones, which will use a display that extends all the way to the edges.

If anything, the iPhone X is going to replace the current iPhone line.

Why did everyone think it was going to be cancelled?

For starters, Apple sells millions and million of iPhones. The iPhone X accounted for 20% of all iPhone sales, leading the iPhone 8 Plus. To say it is not a success is ridiculous.

Most fake news starts out with a kernel of truth. During the last presidential election cycle, it became obvious that Hillary Clinton was feeling ill. There's a video that shows her looking a little wobbly. At the time, headlines in the media pronounced that she was gravely sick, dropping out of the race, or worse. On social media, where everyday users can write a lead-in to any news articles without any verification, there were so many half-truths and made-up facts that it was hard to know what was going on. In the end, she was fine.

The same is true in this case.

It's easy to suggest that Apple might kill off one model in the iPhone line, which makes you wonder if you bought the right phone. And, if you like the iPhone X (which is true in my case), you start to get nervous--will Apple go back to the Home button? Will they ditch Face ID? Will I have to get used to a totally different piece of hardware? None of those things are true, but we worry about our tech because we rely on it so much.

The summary? The iPhone X is not going away anytime soon. Maybe this specific SKU number, maybe this exact config. But the flagship model is still the future.

Published on: Jan 29, 2018