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article imageApple could abandon iPhone X notch amid 'sluggish demand'

By James Walker     Mar 7, 2018 in Technology
Apple may abandon its iPhone notch next year, according to a new report. The company is said to be working to completely fill the phone's front with the display. It comes as Citi cut its sales forecasts for the iPhone X, citing "sluggish demand."
Forecasts halved
The iPhone X has a radical new design that's prompted Android makers to rush to clone the "notch." The controversial styling of the device, combined with its $999 price tag, isn't doing much to help sales though. Multiple reports published this quarter have suggested Apple's struggling to ship the phone, with new forecasts from Citi the most pessimistic yet.
As reported by Business Insider, Citi's now predicting 14 million iPhone X shipments during the first quarter of 2018, followed by a further 7 million in the second quarter. During the third quarter of 2017, immediately after the handset's launch, Apple sold 32 million devices. Demand for the phone has dropped off rapidly since it went on sale.
iPhone X unveil at Apple s September 2017 Live Event
iPhone X unveil at Apple's September 2017 Live Event
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According to Citi, the iPhone X has limited growth prospects amid "sluggish" demand. The company had previously forecasted 27 million sales during the first quarter of the year. The report follows supply chain rumours published earlier in 2018 that claimed Apple is halving its production orders for the current quarter.
Analysts have repeatedly blamed the handset's poor performance on a combination of its high price tag, divisive aesthetics and lack of compelling features. While capabilities such as Face ID and Animoji have drawn attention from the tech press, they offer limited real-world value for the majority of consumers.
Away from the notch
A survey of 1,500 iPhone owners, published by Philip Elmer-DeWitt today, found 44 percent haven't upgraded because their current handset "works fine." 31 percent said the iPhone X is "too expensive." The responses from existing iPhone owners indicate the struggles Apple's encountering in growing the phone's audience.
Faced with scepticism from consumers and analysts alike, Apple's now reported to be planning to drop the notch during 2019. This would see one of the most radical iPhone designs in years abandoned after just two iterations. Korean supply chain resource ETNews claimed Apple has commenced discussions "with relevant companies" to accelerate the development of a true full-height display that fills the entirety of the device's front.
Apple CEO Tim Cook unveiled the iPhone X in September  ahead of the November 3 release date for the ...
Apple CEO Tim Cook unveiled the iPhone X in September, ahead of the November 3 release date for the flagship smartphone
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As with any supply chain rumours, the report may not be accurate. It's widely considered that Apple's only ever viewed the notch as a stepping-stone to a complete full-screen design.
Whether the company will be ready to launch this in less than two years remains to be seen. Apple's said to be looking at ways to retain the notch's sensor tech while removing the notch itself, which could involve placing components under the display or introducing a revised bezel layout.
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