After initial iPhone X shipments of 29 million units in the year-end holiday season, described by one market research firm as “slightly below expectations”, it’s getting clearer and clearer that the worst is yet to come for Apple’s first-ever OLED handset.

KGI’s Ming-Chi Kuo substantially revised down his Q1 2018 forecast for “all-screen” iPhone X sales a couple of weeks back, and today Nikkei Asian Review is following suit, based on word around the (supply chain) water cooler.

While still not as drastic as Kuo’s reduction to just 18 million units predicted for the January – March timeframe, the English-language business journal’s 20 million prognosis represents a 50 percent cut of Apple’s reported production target from November.

Oh, and although it’s not confirmed yet, this might actually be the Cupertino-based tech giant’s new official outlook. As such, suppliers may have already been notified of a significant strategy change after “slower-than-expected sales” in the nine weeks following the iPhone X’s November 3 commercial debut.

Samsung is obviously not the only major company expected to lose money in Q1 and well beyond the quarter’s end, with the “combined impact” of unforeseen production cuts tipped to “run into billions of dollars” for manufacturers of “high-performance” iPhone X components.

In the longer run, “the lackluster sales could result in a delay to the company’s plans to introduce OLED screens in other models.” Translation – a fall 2018 product lineup including a single OLED variant and two lower-priced LCDs is starting to sound pretty reasonable. Speaking of LCD models, Apple’s total production target for the iPhone 8, 8 Plus, 7 and 7 Plus is reportedly staying around the 30 million mark.

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