Apple shares fell almost 4 per cent on Monday after the report from the Nikkei financial daily, which fuelled concerns that the iPhone XR - the cheapest of three iPhones unveiled in September - was facing weak demand just days after it hit shelves.
Apple reportedly told three different suppliers to reduce or completely eliminate production lines for the device.
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"If the reports are accurate, we do find it somewhat disturbing that this would take place so early after the launch of the iPhone XR", Angelo Zino, an analyst at CFRA, said of the Nikkei report.
The tech giant has requested that its manufacturing partners Foxconn and Pegatron keep its iPhone XR production lines at 45 and not expand them to the 60 production lines it had initially planned, the Nikkei is reporting, citing sources who claim to have knowledge of its plans. What this means in practice is that Foxconn will make around 100,000 fewer units each day to reflect the new demand outlook.
Other iPhone manufacturers face similar issues. It's possible, for instance, that overall iPhone demand is down and Apple is reducing its production costs. And at a starting price of $749, it's the most affordable new iPhone on store shelves. Originally Apple had ordered 20 million of the last generation model but has since raised the order to 25 million.
Apple said it would stop providing unit sales for iPhones, iPads, and Macs in fiscal 2019. That's down 20% to 25% compared to Apple's most optimistic prognosis. During that call, Apple also - for the first time ever - neglected to give iPhone sales numbers for the quarter.