The iPhone X has been Apple's flagship phone since last year, with its almost bezel-less screen, distinctive notch and hefty price tag all turning heads. But when the brand launches its next set of devices later this year, could the handset be set for the axe?
This is the suggestion of a new report from analyst Bluefin Research Partners, but it doesn't signal failure for the iPhone X. Instead, the firm's bulletin indicated that Apple is getting ready to launch a major push this September, with three new devices in the pipeline.
This means Apple will have to make room on the production line for its newer models – so the iPhone X and the cheaper iPhone SE could be on the chopping block, though the iPhone 8 will remain in production.
According to analysts John Donovan and Steve Mullane at Bluefin, Apple isn't worried by softer than expected sales of its current generation of smartphones this year. On the contrary, it believes that this weakness could be a positive for 2018's new releases, as the relative lack of upgrade activity over the last few years suggests the time is ripe for a boom in spending.
Therefore, they claim Apple is planning to make 91 million handsets across the three new models in the second half of 2018, followed by a further 92 million in the first half of 2019. These numbers are “far larger than normal cycles”.
The analysts also suggest that the three as-yet unconfirmed handsets should appeal to a wide range of buyers. According to the rumour mill, Apple will launch an iPhone 9 to replace the iPhone 8, along with two OLED-based gadgets, the iPhone 11 and 11 Plus – though the names may well be subject to change.
According to the analysts: “The iPhone 11 Plus should satisfy those unhappy with the iPhone X due to size concerns, while the iPhone 9 device should satisfy more budget-conscious buyers and the aforementioned extension of the iPhone 8 model builds will round out a fairly extensive line-up.”