The radically redesigned iPhone X was supposed to give Apple a boost following several years of sinking sales. Early sales reports were positive, and Morgan Stanley reported last week that the iPhone X is especially hot in China.
But the first wave of demand among Apple fanatics seems to have passed, and analysts are skeptical that more casual iPhone customers will upgrade to the iPhone X.
Citing the iPhone X’s super-high $1,000 price and confusing features, a Sinolink Securities analyst predicted that Apple will ship just 35 million iPhone X devices in the first three months of 2018, roughly 10 million fewer than previously expected. JL Warren Capital now estimates Apple will deliver just 25 million iPhone Xs. Jefferies is slightly more bullish, expecting Apple to ship 40 million.
The analyst reports come after Taiwanese newspaper Economic Daily reported Monday that Apple had dramatically lowered its own iPhone sales expectations from 50 million to 30 million.
The good news for Apple is that the 2017 holiday shopping season was likely its best ever. Analysts predict Apple sold as many as 90 million iPhones over the past three months, which would blow away the company’s previous record.
CEO Tim Cook said in November that orders for the iPhone X have been very strong and defended the $999 price tag for the redesigned phone. The company hasn’t publicly released iPhone X sales figures.
Apple’s stock is up 50% for the year and continues to inch closer to becoming the public company worth $1 trillion.