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Apple reportedly halves iPhone X early 2018 production target

The company now plans to build 20 million iPhone X units in the first quarter, according to a Nikkei report.

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Apple's iPhone X is its most expensive phone yet.

CNET

Apple reportedly notified suppliers on Monday that it's cutting in half its iPhone X production target for the first three months of the year.

The company was planning to produce 40 million units of the iPhone X in the first quarter but has now revised the figure to 20 million, Nikkei reported without citing a source.

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The report comes almost a week after an analyst said Apple will kill off the iPhone X when the second-generation model hits the market later this year. The iPhone X is the company's most expensive phone to date, with a price tag of $999 (£999, AU$1,579). Apple would prefer axing the current iPhone X over dropping its price so it doesn't sabotage sales of other models, said KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

It's the latest wrinkle in the mystery of just how well the iPhone X sold over the holiday period. The most premium version of the iPhone was the only model last year that received a significant facelift and new key features, including a facial recognition system. But it may have turned some customers away because of its extravagant price and the requirement to learn a new control scheme, given the missing home button. 

The company is set to report its fiscal first-quarter earnings results on Thursday, offering us a glimpse into how consumers embraced the new iPhones. 

Further complicating thing is another report from Kuo, who said Apple may release three iPhones later this year, a 5.8-inch and a 6.5-inch model with an OLED display, like the iPhone X, and a 6.1-inch iPhone with an LCD display. They're all supposed to get the TrueDepth camera and facial recognition system. 

The company's production target for the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone 7 remains at 30 million units for the first quarter of the year, Nikkei reported, showing no change from when predictions were first published in November.

Apple didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

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