Apple shares fall again on another report of fading iPhone X demand

Key Points
  • The Wall Street Journal reports Apple is cutting iPhone X production due to weaker-than-expected demand for the high-end smartphone.
  • Apple shares closed down 2.1 percent Monday after a similar report from Nikkei.
Apple CEO Tim Cook
Josh Edelson | AFP | Getty Images

Apple shares are falling after another report that the company ordered a large cut in iPhone X production.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday that Apple reduced its production target for the iPhone X for the first quarter. The company now projects it will build 20 million iPhone X units, half the previous goal, according to a source. Other sources said the smartphone maker cut orders for iPhone X's components by 60 percent.

Apple shares were down 1.2 percent Tuesday afternoon.

The company's shares closed down 2.1 percent Monday after Nikkei also reported that the tech giant told its suppliers to reduce iPhone X production to 20 million units for the first quarter from the more than 40 million units target Apple gave in November. The news agency cited weaker-than-expected sales results at the end of the holiday season as the reason for the move.

The iPhone X is Apple's high-end smartphone model and starts at a list price of $999. The company sells cheaper phones such as the iPhone 8 and the iPhone 7, which may make up for any iPhone X sales shortfall. Nikkei reported on Monday there were no changes to the iPhone 8 production forecast.

The stock has dropped 5.1 percent since Jan. 22 through Monday, wiping out $46.4 billion in shareholder value in that time period.

Other reports of weaker-than-expected Apple supply chain data have come out in the past month.

J.P. Morgan analyst Narci Chang wrote a research note to clients on Jan. 23 predicting iPhone X production will drop 50 percent in the March quarter versus the December quarter. She reduced her forecast for iPhone X production to 20 million units for the first quarter from 30 million units.

"We recently picked up more signs of weakening iPhone X orders," she wrote.

Taiwan's Economic Daily also reported in late December that Apple reduced its sales forecast for the iPhone X.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The company will report first-quarter financial results Thursday.