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iPhone X to make a comeback, but only in international markets

The iPhone X was a hit when it was released back in 2017, but it was quickly killed off to make way for the newer versions of the phone released this year, the iPhone XS and the cheaper iPhone XR. However, flagging demand for Apple’s flagship phones coupled with supply chain issues have led to cuts in production orders for all of their newer iPhone models.

Apparently Apple had problems moving from offering one model of phone to offering three, as it made it difficult to estimate how many components would be required. The OLED screens made by company Samsung seem to have been a particular sticking point, with not enough screens available to Apple to manufacture the number of iPhone XS units that were required.

To handle this shortfall, Apple appears to have resumed manufacturing the older iPhone X, which is cheaper to make. However, the iPhone X won’t be back on shelves in the U.S. Instead, it will be made available on the international market. The cheaper iPhone X will likely be offered in India and China, where the high price of the iPhone XS has been a tough sell to customers leading to low sales numbers.

The cheaper iPhone XR has been popular in the U.S., where customers can save $250 by opting for the lower spec model but have a similar experience to those buying the full-fledged XS model. But in Japan the XR model has not been so well received. Japanese customers are said to have had issues with the iPhone XR’s lower quality screen, more basic camera, and slower data speeds when compared to the higher-end iPhone XS. Therefore, the iPhone X may also go on sale in Japan, where sales of the iPhone XS have been slower than expected, but the older iPhone 8 continues to sell well.

By making the cheaper iPhone X available internationally, Apple will both serve a large market outside of the U.S. and get around their supply issues with the screens in particular. But since Apple announced this month that it would no longer share unit sales of iPhones, our understanding of sales figures will have to be based on speculation and third party reports.

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