A popular Apple analyst just cut his iPhone XR shipment estimates by 30 million units

Key Points
  • TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo cut his sales estimates for the iPhone XR during the device's "new product lifecycle."
  • Kuo cut his iPhone XR sales estimate from 100 million units to 70 million units for the time between 4Q18 and 3Q19.
  • In October, Kuo was bullish on the iPhone XR and said it would boost Apple's iPhone sales. Now that opinion has changed.
Apple chief design officer Jony Ive and Apple CEO Tim Cook inspect iPhone XR.
VCG | Visual China Group | Getty Images

Well-known Apple analyst, TF International Securities' Ming-Chi Kuo, cut his forecast for iPhone XR shipments by 30 million units in a research note issued Monday. The iPhone XR is Apple's most affordable new iPhone and was released in October.

"We have reduced our iPhone XR shipment estimation from 100mn units to 70mn during the new product lifecycle (4Q18 - 3Q19)," Kuo said. It's a reversal from a similar report issued in October, in which Kuo said he expected the iPhone XR to be a big seller for Apple.

Kuo outlined several reasons for his lowered estimate, including "negative impacts on consumer confidence from the trade war, especially in the Chinese market." Kuo added that consumers may prefer the narrower bezels and better cameras on Apple's more expensive iPhone XS and iPhone XS phones, too. Finally, he said Huawei's new Mate 20 series phones will increase competition for the iPhone XR.

Huawei isn't a big player in the U.S., but it's one of the largest phone brands in China and throughout Asia.

Kuo still said Apple will ship 75 million to 80 million iPhone units during its fiscal fourth quarter, or Apple's Q1 2019.

"The increased shipment estimations of the iPhone XS series and legacy models can offset the XR shipment estimation cut," he said. Kuo said Apple will ship 47 million to 52 million iPhone units during the first quarter (Apple's fiscal Q2 2019), down from his original estimate of 55 to 60 million units.

Kuo said iPhone XR parts suppliers including Career and Nissha printing will be "the major losers resulting from the XR cut because these two companies cannot benefit from the increased shipment estimations of legacy models."

Shares of Apple are trading down on Monday after Lumentum, a supplier for Apple's Face ID facial recognition system, cut its outlook and said a major customer — believed to be Apple — reduced shipment requests.

Apple declined to comment.

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