Apple's iPhone X will be killed off this year, analyst says

Apple's iPhone X will be killed off this year, analyst says


  • Apple's iPhone X is likely to be discontinued this year, Mirabaud analyst Neil Campling said.
  • Weak guidance from a top Apple supplier Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing, and the likely knock-on effect to 3-D sensing technology maker AMS, suggests Apple is not buying components for the iPhone X.
  • "With the declines in iPhone X orders and the inventory issue at TSMC at record highs which basically reflect a need to burn off inventory. Why? Because the iPhone X is dead," Campling wrote in a note.

Apple iPhone X is likely to be discontinued this year if earnings from one of the company's top suppliers is anything to go by, according to an analyst.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing, or TSMC, the world's largest semiconductor foundry company, revised its full-year revenue target to the low end of its forecast. Shares in the company closed 6.3 percent lower on Friday.

One of the biggest concerns for Neil Campling, the co-head of the global thematic group focusing on technology at Mirabaud Securities, is the oversupply of chips. This "has never been higher," according to Campling's note to clients Thursday. His firm has tracked inventory data at TSMC for over a decade.

The chipmaker's current situation could give investors concerns over AMS, Apple's key supplier of 3-D sensing technology in the iPhone X. The 3-D sensors are key for the Face ID feature that lets you unlock the device by looking at it.

TSMC's record inventory levels are due to Apple not buying components for any future iPhone X models, suggesting the device will be killed off this year, Campling said.

"With the declines in iPhone X orders and the inventory issue at TSMC at record highs, which basically reflect a need to burn off inventory. Why? Because the iPhone X is dead," Campling wrote in his note.

"The simple problem with X is that it is too expensive," Campling told CNBC by phone on Friday, talking about the device's $999 price tag. "Consumers are turning their backs on high-priced smartphones."

He clarified that any old inventory of iPhone X models will still be on sale, but no new ones will be produced. Apple had yet to respond to a request for comment when contacted by CNBC.

The iPhone X has had a rocky road to market. It was delayed after being announced last year, and a recent report from the Nikkei suggested Apple had cut its production targets for the phone.

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