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Apple receives analyst downgrade amid reports of weak iPhone X sales

Apple is understood to be planning to cut production of its iPhone X after disappointing sales
BMO downgraded its rating on the stock to ‘market perform’ from ‘outperform’

Apple Inc (NASDAQ:APPL) has been successful in getting customers to pay high prices for its iPhones but the latest model has reportedly failed to spark much interest.

Ahead of the company’s first quarter results on Thursday, BMO Capital Markets said it estimates just 30% of phones sold for more than US$900 since only 12% of global smartphone sales were for devices priced over US$600.

BMO downgraded its rating on the stock to ‘market perform’ from ‘outperform’.

Apple is understood to be planning to cut production of its iPhone X, which starts at US$999, after disappointing sales.

READ: Apple to halve production of iPhone X in first quarter after slower-than-expected sales

 "There has been much in the press about order cuts for iPhone X, and we believe a weaker mix in Q1 [the December quarter] will push estimates lower for March and beyond," BMO analyst Tim Long said.

Long also thinks revenue in China will be flat after rebounding in the previous quarter following several periods of decline. He predicts unit sales will drop 9% year-on-year in China in the first quarter.

"We still view the iPhone base as growing, and the devices are on average getting older," Long said.

"However, without a compelling product cycle in September, we may see a slow upgrade cycle once again."

Shares on Apple added 0.06% to US$167.07.

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