Apple Investors Spooked by Falling iPhone Sales

Analysts project iPhone X’s high price could lead to less holiday sales

Apple CEO Tim Cook

Santa didn’t deliver as many iPhones as Apple shareholders would’ve liked this year.

That’s according to Sinolink Securities analyst Zhang Bin, who said in a Monday note to clients Apple might sell “only” 35 million iPhones in its first quarter of next year — which would come in nearly 12 million devices below Q4 shipments. In his note picked up by Bloomberg, Bin pointed to iPhone X’s $999 price tag as a reason for diminishing sales.

“After the first wave of demand has been fulfilled, the market now worries that the high price of the iPhone X may weaken demand in the first quarter,” said Bin. 

It wasn’t just the Chinese firm forecasting a rough holiday season for Apple, either. U.S.-based JL Warren Capital is pegging sales at 25 million devices for the quarter, according to CNBC, with the firm saying iPhone X’s “high price point and a lack of interesting innovations” will do little to drive adoption. (Apparently the iPhone X’s facial recognition software, animated emojis, and its augmented reality-enabled apps aren’t exciting to JL Warren.)

The lowered expectations have spooked Wall Street on Tuesday, with shares of Apple trading down more than 2.5 percent to about $170.50. Still, even with the hit, the world’s biggest tech company has been on a strong run in 2017; shares of AAPL have jumped 47 percent since last Christmas.