Apple's "future of smartphones," the iPhone X, is proving to be less popular than the iPhone 8 series and even the iPhone 7 that saw release in 2016.

This appears to be the trend observed by research firm Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) in the first three months that Apple's latest flagship models have been available. Despite the impressive redesign and the array of fresh features that came out of the box with the iPhone X, the new handset seems far from the monster hit that its maker dreamed it to be.

From October through December 2017, the regular iPhone 8 outsold the iPhone X. The former accounted for 24 percent of Apple's audited sales in the period, while the latter only managed to log 20 percent. As some form of consolation, the all-screen iPhone X proved a better attraction than the iPhone 8 Plus, which lured in 17 percent of the total buys registered.

The findings shared by CIRP were based on a survey of 500 consumers that bought Apple-made devices in the last quarter of 2017. The report showed Apple's 2017 iPhone offerings locked on 61 percent of the total smartphone sales in the United States for the same period, a remarkable performance by any account.

However, the 2016 flagship bets fared better for Apple. The CIRP indicated that the iPhone 7 series has so far outperformed its successor.

"At 61 percent, the three newest iPhone models together represented a somewhat smaller share of total US iPhone sales in the quarter, compared to 72 percent for the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus a year ago," the consumer research group stated on its report.

Is The iPhone X Tanking?

To be fair, though, pitting the sales performance of the two iPhone batches at this point could prove "tricky at best." CIRP acknowledged that the latest models are only in the market for a short period while the iPhone 7 has been in circulation since late 2016.

In addition, the iPhone X only came out at the start of November 2017 while the iPhone 8 series was released in late September of the same year. That meant the latter had a lead-time of more than a month, which should explain the models' slightly better sales data as opposed to the iPhone X. It can be assumed then that an assessment of the March 2018 quarter sales could prove more conclusive.

Still, it's worth noting that Apple is rumored to discontinue the iPhone X this 2018, apparently due to less-than-inspiring sales performance, specifically in China. The iPhone X failed to impress, according to KGI Securities, and many consumers were turned off by the notch that serves as a distracting break on the handset's otherwise immersive display.

Also, analysts believed many consumers shied away from the iPhone X, as they are unwilling to pay the hefty price tag that starts at $1,000 for the basic model.

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