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iPhone XR shipments diluted by Apple iPhone XS, 8 and 7, analyst predicts

Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo also reportedly expects a decline in shipments going into 2019.

James Martin/CNET

Apple cautioned earlier this month that it could miss Wall Street estimates for the holiday shopping season. Now that forecast is being echoed by TF Industries' Ming-Chi Kuo.

The well-known Apple analyst said iPhone XR shipments during the forth quarter of this year could be supplanted by the older, cheaper iPhone 8 and iPhone 7, and the top-of-the-line iPhone XS models, according to 9to5Mac.

In a report Monday, Kuo also forecast a year-over-year decline in overall iPhone shipments for the beginning of 2019. As reported by 9to5Mac

For the first quarter of 2019, January to March, Kuo believes that Apple will see a year-over-year decline in iPhone shipments. He predicts shipments in the 47-52 million range, compared to 52 million sold in the first quarter of 2018. Kuo's new predictions fly in the face of his pre-launch expectations, where he believed the XR would outsell the iPhone 8 series in the same period.

Kuo's forecast follows a report last week that described two of the company's largest suppliers, Foxconn and Pegatron, being told to halt plans for additional iPhone XR production lines. And on Monday, Apple shares dropped after Lumentum -- a supplier of "laser diodes for 3D sensing," such as those used by Apple's Face ID -- cut its revenue forecast after "one of our largest Industrial and Consumer customers" significantly reduced orders. Investors interpreted the news as cut in orders from Apple, which would jibe with the new iPhone 7 and 8 demand forecasts because those models don't use Face ID.

Apple didn't immediately respond to a request for comment on the reports. Lumentum and Kuo also didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.

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