Apple shares are down nearly 3 percent on Tuesday, following a report that the company is planning to slash forecasts for iPhone X sales in the first quarter of 2018. A report from Taiwan’s Economic Daily suggests that Apple will cut forecasts to 30 million units, down from 50 million. If true, that’s going to be a huge blow for Apple, and investors who were expecting a “super-cycle” of iPhone X sales. South Korean paper ET News reports that Samsung will release the Galaxy S9 a little earlier than expected next year.
ET News says that Samsung has already placed orders for parts for the Galaxy S9, with production expected to begin in January. And Samsung is planning to unveil the Galaxy S9 and S9+ at Mobile World Congress. It is said that Samsung plans to give up the traditional month-long pre-order phase, and will instead have the device on general sale come early March.
“Simply put, that’s awful news for Apple. The iPhone X is the undisputed king of the phone market right now, and no Android device is expected to truly challenge it until the Galaxy S9 comes along next year.”
Normally, the current-gen iPhone and next-gen Samsung device don’t compete too much; there’s traditionally been a six-month gap between the launch of the iPhone and the next Galaxy device coming out, meaning that most people who want to buy an iPhone have already done so by the time that the next Galaxy comes along.
But situation changes this year. The iPhone X launched in November, a month later than usual, and supply was unusually bad. It was virtually impossible to find a phone on launch day, and Apple stores only started getting a consistent supply a week or two ago.
Apple always relies on a strong first quarter to get handset sales. If Samsung launches early, then there will be only 6 weeks for Apple to compete with the new Galaxy S9 by the adverts and promotion.