updated 10:09 am EST, Mon January 14, 2013
Phone allegedly seeing 'weaker-than-expected' demand
Apple is slashing its parts orders for the iPhone 5 due to demand falling lower than expected, say Wall Street Journal sources. For the current quarter Apple has reportedly cut screen orders to about half of what it had originally planned for. The sources note that Apple told suppliers about reduced orders last month; one source elaborates that more than just screens have been affected. Sharp, LG Display, and Japan Display Co. are allegedly the main suppliers for iPhone 5 screen panels.
The Journal's report suggests an unexpected tidal shift for Apple, which has been used to intense demand for each iPhone up until the months immediately preceding a new model. The company now faces intense competition from companies like Samsung however, and some critics have complained that the iPhone 5 is too similar to the iPhone 4S, and hasn't kept pace with the evolution displayed by Android devices. The primary upgrade of the 5, for instance, was a 4-inch screen, at a time when many Android devices were already coming closer to 5 inches.
A cut in Apple component orders could have large ramifications for Asian supply companies, some of which count Apple as an important or even primary customer. Sharp in particular has been suffering in its TV business, and could use the money from Apple orders to help it stay afloat.