Rumor has it Apple is getting ready to launch three new iPhones this year, but one analyst says you shouldn’t expect to see the $999 iPhone X much longer.
“The iPhone X is dead,” analyst Neil Campling of Mirabaud Securities wrote in a research note to clients.
That seems extreme, but Campling says the fact that Apple supplier Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing has lowered its full-year revenue forecast indicates Apple isn’t buying enough iPhone X components. Why? According to Campling, whose client note was obtained by CNBC, Apple plans to discontinue the iPhone X line and cease production on new models.
“The simple problem with X is that it is too expensive,” Campling told CNBC. “Consumers are turning their backs on high-priced smartphones.”
Well, that’s not entirely accurate.
In February, Apple CEO Tim Cook said the iPhone X was the best-selling iPhone since its November launch. That helped the company report its “highest revenue ever from a new iPhone lineup,” Cook said during the company’s holiday quarterly earnings call.
“It’s extraordinarily unlikely that after the iPhone X sold so well — which we see in Apple’s results in the first quarter — that even if it tanked, it’s unlikely that Apple could change course and decide to kill it,” said Global Data research director for consumer devices Avi Greengart. “Frankly, the whole thing sounds ridiculous.”
There could be other reasons why TMSC lowered its revenue forecast. Morgan Stanley analyst Charlie Chan told CNBC that its business has been affected by MediaTek, another TMSC customer that puts chips in budget phones that are popular overseas. Chan also said Apple may have delayed production of its latest processor to July.
It seems more likely that Apple will release three new iPhones this September, including a refreshed iPhone X and possibly a Plus-sized model with a larger screen. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has a solid track record for accuracy when it comes to Apple product predictions, says a 5.8-inch iPhone is likely to still be in the mix, but probably at a lower price point. A third model, rumored to have a 6.1-inch screen, will reportedly feature less expensive parts like an LCD panel instead of an OLED screen.
“The iPhone X sold extremely well out of the gate and customer satisfaction is extremely high and I would expect Apple to build on that, not go backwards,” Greengart said.