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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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Katie Collins Senior European Correspondent
Katie a UK-based news reporter and features writer. Officially, she is CNET's European correspondent, covering tech policy and Big Tech in the EU and UK. Unofficially, she serves as CNET's Taylor Swift correspondent. You can also find her writing about tech for good, ethics and human rights, the climate crisis, robots, travel and digital culture. She was once described a "living synth" by London's Evening Standard for having a microchip injected into her hand.
Katie Collins
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Apple's iPhone X is its most expensive phone yet.

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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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Watch this: Apple may have slashed iPhone X production in half

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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