Apple launched three new iPhones this year, with the iPhone XR being the most affordable offering. Ahead of the launch, the iPhone XR was expected to be the most popular device this year, but due to lackluster demand, things aren’t going well for the XR model. Now, Apple has all the more reasons to worry as analyst Ming-Chi Kuo lowered his shipment estimates from 100 million to 70 million, a year-on-year decline of 30 percent.
In his recent note to investors, Kuo mentioned that lack of features such as dual cameras for the price point, and strong competition from Huawei Mate 20 series could be a threat to Apple. Still, Kuo has not lowered his forecast for the fourth quarter as he believes around 80 million iPhone units to be sold. He further believes the fall in XR shipments will be offset by higher sales from older devices such as the iPhone 7 and iPhone 8, while demand for the newer XS models remains.
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Kuo is also reducing his iPhone shipment estimates for January 2019 by 15 – 20 percent. This does contradict his pre-launch prediction where Kuo believed that the iPhone XR will outsell the iPhone 8 series. Apple also reportedly cancelled production boost for the iPhone XR due to weak demand.
During the recent earnings call, Apple also mentioned that it will stop reporting the number of iPhones, iPads and Macs it sold. Apple is doing this because it believes that disclosing unit sales numbers isn’t “representative of the underlying strength” of its business. This also means that confirming Kuo’s predictions won’t be that easy.