Apple's been slapped with another analyst downgrade and softening iPhone demand forecast

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A report today suggests iPhone X won't be moved to a second-tier spot in Apple's iPhone collection: not now, not ever. Bears believe Apple's demand is falling back.

So where does the iPhone X fit into the 2018 iPhone line?

Given below is Ming-Chi Kuo's research for what he believes is going to be the intended lineup for Apple's future iPhone family.

Now, however, it looks like the company might actually cancel the iPhone X this summer due to those disappointing numbers. The consumer tech giant's stock hit fresh all-time highs late last week, and its market cap of $908 billion makes it the favorite to be the first company to top the $1 trillion mark later this year.

REUTERS/Stephen LamApple Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing, Phil Schiller, introduces the iPhone X during a launch event in Cupertino, California, U.S. September 12, 2017.

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On the other hand, KGI's forecast interestingly suggests that Apple will eventually stop making the now available iPhone X device later this year once the production of the new iPhones to be released in 2018 ramps up. All three of them would feature the Face ID facial recognition system. Two "premium" models, a 5.8-inch and larger 6.5-inch design, starting at roughly the iPhone X's current price point (starts at $999), and a 6.1-inch iPhone with a price closer to the current iPhone 8 Plus ($799).

There's clearly a lot riding on the one-two punch of the iPhone 8 and iPhone X, as smartphones continue to account for more than half of Apple's revenue and likely an even thicker slice of its earnings. It's just doing exactly what Tim Cook said it was meant to do: Lay the groundwork for the iPhone for the next 10 years.

The company is supposedly struggling to justify iPhone X production because of poor sales - and may scrap the phone later this year.

If Kuo's projection pans out, this will represent a marked shift in Apple's iPhone sales strategy. Numerous analysts reduced their shipment forecasts following the report.

JL Warren Capital expects Apple to sell 25 million iPhone X units in the current quarter, which is lower than their previous estimate of 30 million units. We estimate these cuts could be between 2-5 million units for the March quarter. The analyst predicts that Apple will stop producing the iPhone X in Q2 2018, thanks to the not-so-strong sales.

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