— This is the script of CNBC's news report for China's CCTV on October 20, Friday.
Apple no longer gives regular updates on sales numbers but indications from supply channels, phone operators and analysts who track the sector have fueled talk of poor sales for the latest update of the smartphone.
Reuters cited a report in Taiwan-based newspaper Economic Times, in which an unnamed source talked of a 50 percent cut in orders for the iPhone 8 and 8 plus.
Apple's shares fell more than 2.5 percent on Thursday as brokers and traders speculated over poor demand and cuts in production of iPhone 8 and 8plus, ahead of the November launch of the 10th anniversary iPhone X.
KeyBanc Capital Markets analyst John Vinh reported earlier this week that a carrier store survey suggested the iPhone 7 was outselling the new phone just a month after the latter's launch. The iPhone X, eagerly awaited by fans, will go on sale from Nov. 3 and may also be weighing on demand.
Analysts believe Apple is likely to focus more on iPhone X, which looks radically different with an edge-to-edge display, and will retail from $999, boosting the company's margins.
And the compeition is getting increasingly intensive, for both high-end and lower-end smartphone marketplaces. For the high-end market, you have Samsung's Galaxy Note 8, which the company said the latest phone series has broken sales records. Also, we have Chinese smartphone maker Huawei, who just unveiled its Mate 10 series, which embedded latest technologies that are comparable to Samsung and Apple's phones, but with a lower price - it's expected to be 15% to 30% cheaper than the latter two.
Now, on the lower-end market, you have Vivo, Opppo and Xiaomi, all these Chinese smartphone makers eating up Apple's market share in China. So, we are seeing the very intensive competition in this industry, with new technologies and features coming out, including edge-to-edge screen, face recognition, AR, and camera features, etc.
With the holiday season coming up, we will see whether the Iphone X could live up to the hype.
CNBC's Qian Chen, reporting from Singapore.