Citi Cuts Back iPhone X Forecasts Due to ‘Sluggish’ Demand

A new prediction from Citi provides the most pessimistic numbers for Apple’s iPhone X yet.

As reported by Business Insider, they expect Apple to ship 14 million units in Q1, down from earlier expectations of 27 million, citing “sluggish” demand for the high-end smartphones. These are the most pessimistic figures yet, other analysts estimating first-quarter shipments of around 25 million units.

According to Citi, the iPhone X has limited growth prospects amid “sluggish” demand. The company had previously forecasted 27 million sales during the first quarter of the year. The report follows supply chain rumours published earlier in 2018 that claimed Apple is halving its production orders for the current quarter.

“We reduce our 1Q18E and 2Q18E iPhone build forecast mainly due to sluggish iPhone X demand,” reads the report. “For 1Q18E, we now forecast overall iPhone shipment of 51m vs. 61m previously. We reduce 1Q18E iPhone X shipment to 14m from 27m. For 2Q18E, we trim total iPhone shipment to 40m from 48m previously as we revise down iPhone X shipment to 7m. Overall, we now model 1H18E total iPhone build of 92m vs. 85m in 1H17E, up 7% [year on year].”

According to the experts, the low demand for the new Apple device should extend throughout the year 2018 and reach its peak in the second quarter, a period already considered weak for the company due to the approach of launching a new generation.

Analysts have repeatedly blamed the handset’s poor performance on a combination of its high price tag, divisive aesthetics and lack of compelling features. While capabilities such as Face ID and Animoji have drawn attention from the tech press, they offer limited real-world value for a large majority of consumers.

A survey of 1,500 iPhone owners, published by Piper Jaffray, found 44 percent haven’t upgraded because their current handset “works fine.” 31 percent said the iPhone X is “too expensive.” The responses from existing iPhone owners indicate the struggles Apple’s encountering in growing the phone’s audience.