Apple will have to cut iPhone production‾

Apple is likely to cut production of its iPhone 3G handset by up to 40% during the current quarter, an analyst has warned, saying the

According to the IDG report, the prediction drew criticism from Apple observers, who said the situation wasn't so grim.

'That the firm's iPhone production plans are being revised lower suggests that the global macroeconomic weakness is impacting even high-end consumers, those that are more likely to buy Apple's expensive gadgets, and that no market segment will be spared in this global downturn,' wrote Craig Berger, an analyst at FBR Capital Markets, an investment bank according to IDG.

The forecast is significantly more pessimistic than Berger's earlier prediction, announced last month, that Apple will cut its iPhone production by 10%.

As a result of the expected production cut, Berger said key component suppliers, including Broadcom, Marvell, and Infineon, among others, will see lower revenue during the period.

As Christmas - and the pantomime season - draws near, it'll certainly be one to watch.