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Analyst predicts iPhone decline

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Apple will cut iPhone production by roughly 40 per cent during the current Q4, a market analyst has predicted.

Craig Berger, an analyst at FBR Capital Markets, said in a report that, compared to the previous calendar quarter, a series of “new checks” have enabled him to arrive at the 40 per cent reduction figure for Q4, which kicked off last month.

Berger’s latest prediction marks a fourfold increase on his earlier forecast that Apple would reduce iPhone production by just ten per cent during the current quarter.

However, there could be several reasons why, even if Berger’s prediction is correct, Apple has chosen to reduce the output of arguably this year’s most popular phone, which sold 6.9m units in Q3 alone.

It’s possible that the firm simply over ordered during the previous quarter and that it now feels it needs to reduce market stock levels slightly. It’s also possible that, given the current financial turmoil, Apple’s just erring on the side of caution.

However, the analyst’s latest forecast should be “taken with a grain of salt, given Berger’s track record with Apple”, according to a CNN report that noted some of the analyst’s previous Apple predictions.

For example, back in February he predicted that the manufacturer had cut its build forecast for MacBooks because of a predicted 50 per cent sales decline. In reality, MacBook sales actually rose by almost seven per cent from 1.3m in fiscal Q1 to over 1.4m in fiscal Q2, ended 31 March 2008.

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