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Slow iPhone X and iPhone 8 demand will hurt Apple’s suppliers, new report claims

Published Jan 17th, 2018 4:20PM EST
iPhone X vs. iPhone 8
Image: Zach Epstein, BGR

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Apple’s three new iPhones, the iPhone X, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone 8, aren’t as hot as expected, a new report says, and Apple is expected to reduce orders to iPhone parts suppliers for the first quarter of the year.

The iPhone maker is yet to share any insights about iPhone X sales, as the handset has been available in stores for less than a quarter. After a terrific response, demand has apparently lost momentum going into the first quarter of 2018. The cheaper iPhone 8 models aren’t doing any better either.

The report comes from Digitimes, a source of similar news about other iPhone versions in the past. The tech site is connected to the Taiwanese supply chain, and while its track record is spotty, it’s still able to gain some information from Apple’s suppliers. Apple, meanwhile, has always disputed reports about the iPhone’s supply chain.

The report says that component suppliers may be forced to take an extended Lunar New Year holiday as Apple is expected to lower orders. Some companies will temporarily halt production in February, while others have been notified to manage inventory levels to better deal with an anticipated decrease in iPhone component parts — these are companies that manufacture several key iPhone parts, including “memory chips, camera modules, 3D sensing modules, PCBs and IC backend service firms.”

Apparently, orders for iPhones will come in at 15% to 30% less than expected for the first quarter of the year. Usually, iPhone sales drop in the first quarter of the year, but Digitimes hints that it’s not just seasonal factors at play here. Some sources apparently say that “slower-than-expected sales of iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus have dragged down the momentum for the iPhone X.”

Demand for iPhone 8 models slowed down in the Christmas quarter, the report says, and sales have been slower than expected. The story doesn’t explain how iPhone 8 sales affected iPhone X sales.

Apple will soon announce the results for its Christmas quarter, at which point we’ll learn more details about iPhone sales, especially 2017 models. Apple will not reveal how many iPhone X units it actually sold, but its financial performance for the quarter should provide plenty of data. Furthermore, Apple’s guidance for the March quarter will provide some clues regarding Apple’s expectations for the current quarter, iPhone sales included.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.