No two financial analysts seem to agree on an iPhone X shipment number for the final three months of the last calendar year, or a specific prediction as far as 2018’s first quarter is concerned, but every single expectation has been lowered from record levels on the heels of the “all-screen” handset’s launch.

Hands down the most drastic reduction of a previous forecast comes from KGI’s always busy Ming-Chi Kuo, who now believes Apple will only be able to sell around 18 million iPhone X units between this month and the end of March, compared to estimates in the 20 – 30 mil range by other industry pundits.

Kuo points his finger at China for driving global demand down, although the world’s largest mobile device market has been surprisingly kind to the aging iPhone 7 and 7 Plus for the entirety of 2017.

The extravagant iPhone X, however, is not proving particularly popular in a country still primarily focused on low-cost Android devices. The controversial notch design is cited as another reason for the product’s local struggles, as potential customers feel it wastes away precious screen real estate.

Obviously, the iPhone X’s commercial success is not expected to improve in the April – June 2018 timeframe, when shipments could fall to a measly 13 million units. Still, largely thanks to steady iPhone 7 and 6s demand, the family’s total sales are projected to grow by up to 5 percent for the year’s first half compared to the same period of 2017.

Intriguingly enough, the chief KGI analyst thinks the iPhone X could be discontinued altogether as early as “mid-2018”, with three next-gen variants still expected out sometime in the fall. These will purportedly include an LCD 6.1-incher priced between $650 and 750, as well as a direct iPhone X sequel and 6.5-inch X Plus with OLED screen technology and plenty of charm to kick in a “real super cycle.”

All in all, Apple could boost its 2018 smartphone shipment numbers by as much as 10 percent from an already solid 2017.

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