The Wall Street Journal reports that Apple has cut orders for iPhone 5 components by almost half due to weak demand according to “people familiar with the situation”.
The report notes that Apple has cut the orders for iPhone 5 screens and other components for the January-March quarter.
From the WSJ report:
Apple’s orders for iPhone 5 screens for the January-March quarter, for example, have dropped to roughly half of what the company had previously planned to order, two of the people said.
The Cupertino, Calif., company has also cut orders for components other than screens, according to one of the people.
Apple notified the suppliers of the order cut last month, the people said.
While it is quite normal for the demand to slow down in January-March quarter, the fact that Apple is cutting orders based on its own estimates which would have accounted for it, should be a concern for the company.
There have been speculations that Apple may launch the next generation iPhone in June. There are also reports that Apple may launch a higher-end iPhone in June, followed by a lower-end iPhone. If this rumor of a slow down in demand is indeed true, then it will definitely force Apple to launch the next generation iPhone sooner rather than later.
It is also important for Apple to strike a deal with China Mobile – the world’s largest mobile carrier, which was probably the reason both Tim Cook and Phil Schiller were in China last week.