Apple is backing off plans to increase production of its new iPhones this year after an anticipated surge in demand failed to materialise, according to people familiar with the matter.
The Cupertino, California-based electronics maker has told suppliers to pull back from efforts to increase assembly of the iPhone 14 product family by as many as six million units in the second half of this year, said the people, asking not to be named as the plans are not public. Instead, the company will aim to produce 90 million handsets for the period, roughly the same level as the prior year and in line with Apple’s original forecast for the northern hemisphere summer, the people said.
Demand for higher-priced iPhone 14 Pro models is stronger than for the entry-level versions, according to some of the people. In at least one case, an Apple supplier is shifting production capacity from lower-priced iPhones to premium models, they added.
Apple had upgraded its sales projections in the weeks leading up to the iPhone 14 release and some of its suppliers had started making preparations for a 7% boost in orders. The success of the company’s marquee device has implications for wide swathes of the tech industry, with suppliers including TSMC and Hon Hai Precision Industry depending on sales of iPhones and related devices as key revenue drivers.
An Apple spokesman declined to comment.
China, the world’s biggest smartphone market, is in an economic slump that’s hit its domestic mobile device makers and also affected the iPhone’s sales. Purchases of the iPhone 14 series over its first three days of availability in China were 11% down on its predecessor the previous year, according to a Jefferies note on Monday.