The iPhone X is the future of smartphones. That’s what Apple wants you to believe. Maybe it is. But not many people have fallen in love with the 10th anniversary iPhone. The iPhone X had a good run during the holiday shopping season, but that’s about it. Almost every analyst expects its sales to drop significantly during the current quarter. Now KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has told clients that Apple might discontinue the iPhone X production this summer.
Apple expected to ship only 18 million iPhone X units in current quarter
Kuo is a well-connected and highly-respected analyst with a proven track record. He told investors (via Apple Insider) that disappointing sales of the iPhone X might force Apple to cancel the anniversary model with “production ceasing in the summer.” The iPhone maker has also reduced orders at suppliers because of the weak demand. The phone’s production will likely be discontinued when the flagship 2018 models enter production.
Ming-Chi Kuo estimates that Apple would ship about 18 million iPhone X units in the January-March quarter. The analyst said the iPhone X hadn’t received a great response in China due to its notch. Chinese consumers love phones with large screens. The notch gives an impression that the usable screen space on the iPhone X is smaller than on the iPhone 8 Plus.
If Kuo’s report turns out to be true, it would be the first time the Cupertino company has canceled an iPhone after just one generation since the plastic-body iPhone 5C. Kuo added that Apple would not even retain the iPhone X as a lower-priced option in the following year. The tech giant tends to retain the previous years’ flagship models as an affordable alternative to the latest iPhones.
It is unclear what Apple would do with the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus. The company may keep them around for a couple of years because a large section of its users still prefer the Touch ID fingerprint sensor.
Kuo told investors that Apple would release three iPhones this fall – a 5.8-inch OLED iPhone, a 6.5-inch model, and a 6.1-inch LCD model. All three of them would feature the Face ID facial recognition system. The 6.5-inch iPhone X Plus model would alleviate concerns about the usable screen area, reports Apple Insider. The iPhone X’s key features will migrate to the upcoming models.
Ming-Chi Kuo predicts the iPhone shipments would grow 5% in the first half of this year. Any potential “super cycle” would kick off in the fall of 2018 following the launch of three new iPhones. The total iPhone shipments would grow 10% YoY in 2018. Kuo did not talk about the iPhone X sales during the 2017 holiday shopping season.
KGI Securities remains bullish on Apple and its suppliers because of the strong sales of older models such as the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. Having received a price cut in September last year, the iPhone 7 series and iPhone 6 series phones have been selling well in the US and around the world.
Kuo is not the only one to cut the iPhone X sales forecasts
Credit Suisse analysts told their clients that the iPhone X production for the January-March quarter had been lowered to just 19 million units. Taiwan-based DigiTimes reported that Apple had cut iPhone X orders at its suppliers in China. Despite the iPhone X production cut, says Credit Suisse, Apple will produce more than 60 million iPhones in the current quarter, which is higher than the units produced during the iPhone 6 super-cycle in January-March 2015.
Back in December, Taiwan-based Economic Daily News had learned from supply chain sources that Apple had slashed the iPhone X shipment forecasts for the January-March quarter from 50 million to 30 million units due to weaker than expected demand. Numerous analysts reduced their shipment forecasts following the report. Sinolink Securities analyst Zhang Bin said almost everyone who wanted an iPhone X had already purchased it. The market was worried that the phone’s high price would weaken the demand once the euphoria was over.
JL Warren Capital expects Apple to sell 25 million iPhone X units in the current quarter, which is lower than their previous estimate of 30 million units. Yuanta Investment Consulting has also reduced its first-quarter shipment estimate from 30 million to 26 million units. Fubon Securities analyst Arthur Liao told investors recently that the iPhone X sales were “far below expectations” as there was “no exciting super cycle.”
Apple shows off portrait selfies in new iPhone X ad
Apple is trying to boost the iPhone X sales by touting its various features. The company has released a new video ad that shows off selfies captured with Portrait Lighting effects. The highlight of the ad is poetry by Muhammad Ali aimed at bolstering your self-belief. Muhammad Ali’s statement is appropriate here. Check it out: