Apple’s iPhone problem is bad — but it’s also as bad as it’s going to get.That’s according to an influential tech analyst, who says Wall Street’s current forecasts for iPhone sales are overly pessimistic, despite a warning from the company earlier this month that cited sluggish demand in China.

“The current market consensus on 2019 iPhone shipments [160-180 million units] is much lower than our estimation,” said Ming-Chi Kuo, an analyst at TF International Securities. “We maintain our forecast of 188-192 [million] units for 2019 iPhone shipments.”

The forecast — which comes with the condition that it depends on the trade war between the US and China not getting any worse — would see iPhone sales “generally flat” year-over-year, according to Kuo.

Apple is slated to report earnings after the bell on Tuesday.Kuo’s note mirrored recent comments from Chief Executive Tim Cook, who earlier this month blamed weak Chinese demand for the company’s stratospherically priced devices.

Apple’s latest iPhone XS and XS Max models start at $999 and top out at $1,449.Kuo admitted that “demand for new models in China and emerging markets is lower than expected” but added that he expects appetite for the iPhone to increase in the second quarter.

[Read more]