Apple's iPhone 8 might have a problem: its other phones are just too alluring.

The company's shares dropped in recent days amid reports about slow demand for the iPhone 8. And that seems to be becuase it's competing with two main phones: last year's iPhone 7, and the upcoming iPhone X.

Last week, a report claimed that last year's model was outselling this year's iPhone 8. Though this year's phone includes a range of new features – like wireless charging, and a much upgraded camera and processor – the two handsets look mostly similar and the iPhone 7 sells for considerably less.

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Demand is also being hurt by the upcoming iPhone X, reports have suggested. That phone was announced at the same time but isn't available until early November, apparently to give Apple time to build the advanced and new features that mark out the premium iPhone.

Together, those problems have led to rumours that demand for the iPhone 8 is being dampened. The company has cut production of the new phone by 50 per cent – a more sudden cut than has ever happened before – according to one report that led Apple's share price to drop nearly 2.5 per cent.

Apple's approach to the new phone, which will see it launch the more pedestrian iPhone 8 and then follow it with the premium iPhone X, has never beent tried before. Reports suggest that the iPhone 8 is selling well but many people are waiting for the new phone, which opens for pre-orders on 24 October and goes on sale a week later.

But they might be waiting for some time. Numerous reports suggest that Apple is struggling to make the new phone in big numbers, leading some to speculate that it won't be readily available until well into 2018.

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