Apple is selling fewer of its top-end iPhone X models than Wall Street analysts expected. And that could mean the next premium iPhone could be a tad cheaper.
Brokerage firm Goldman Sachs predicts the next top-of-the-line iPhone, out in the fall, will start at $949, down $50 from the starting price of the $999 iPhone X last year.
Both Goldman and RBC Capital Markets lowered their sales estimates for iPhone sales for the first half of this year.
Goldman trimmed back its estimate by 1.7 million units, predicting sales of 53 million units, followed by 40.3 million iPhone sales in the spring quarter, down 3.2 million from the original estimate. RBC has both quarters even lower, at 52 million and 39 million units, respectively.
Apple historically sells more than 200 million iPhones yearly. Apple (AAPL) shares fell 1%.
Apple is expected to release three new phones in the fall, with a top-of-the-line model to replace the X and two lower-priced units taking over the slots from the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, which were released in September. They currently sell for $699 and $799.
Low prices are not in Apple’s DNA. Despite speculation Apple would introduce a new, lower-priced iPad to compete with Google in the education market, Apple didn’t budge. Its new 9.7-inch iPad, unveiled Tuesday at an event in Chicago, has the same price as last year’s model, $329, or $299 for schools.
“Apple has set the threshold at $999,” Tim Bajarin, an analyst with Creative Strategies, says of the iPhone X “You won’t see any high-end phones from Apple any more expensive than that.”
Apple’s next event, in June in San Jose, is the Worldwide Developers Conference, where Apple sneak peeks the operating system software update for Apple mobile devices, which this year should be called IOS12. In September, Apple historically releases new iPhones.
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