Apple’s stock price has seen a sharp drop this morning on the first day of trading since Christmas Day, and a new report on tepid iPhone X demand going into next year is to blame. Analysts are adjusting their forecasts on iPhone X shipments at the start of 2018 based on demand largely being fulfilled during the holiday quarter, and the $999-$1149 price may be the cause.
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Bloomberg reports that analysts believe Apple has cut its iPhone shipment forecast from 50 million units to 30 million units based on supply chain talk:
Apple is said to have trimmed its first-quarter sales forecast to 30 million units from 50 million, Taiwanese newspaper Economic Daily News reported, citing unidentified supply chain officials. It also said Hon Hai Precision Industry Co.’s main iPhone X manufacturing hub in Zhengzhou, China, stopped recruiting workers. The company also known as Foxconn is the sole iPhone X assembler, and also makes the handsets in Shenzhen and Chengdu.
Analyst consensus appears to be that Apple has generally managed to meet iPhone X demand during the holiday quarter, and the premium price of the top-of-the-line iPhone will now start to have an effect on business going forward. Apple also offers cheaper iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus models that do not sport the new design.
As of last week, new orders for iPhone X could be fulfilled next-day from Apple directly, which suggests supply has caught up with demand sooner than expected.
It makes sense that early adopters would opt for the premium iPhone X, which launched later than expected in early November, while average consumers opt for the standard priced iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, which debuted in September.
Still, analysts expected the redesigned iPhone X to spark an iPhone upgrade super cycle similar to what Apple saw with the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus launch when consumers were awaiting larger screen iPhones.
It’s possible the next round of upgrades will spark the so-called super cycle, however, as three new models with two new screen sizes are rumored to be in the works: a new iPhone X style 5.8-inch OLED model, a cheaper 6.1-inch LCD model with the new design, and an even larger 6.5-inch OLED model that would serve as a bigger version of the iPhone X.