Last month, analysts predicted that 2016 would see the first ever iPhone sales decline, thanks to a mature smartphone market and rising prices in international markets. Others have pointed to a lack of differentiation in the iPhone 6S as a factor.
Those claims have just been strengthened by a Wall Street Journal report that claims Apple is cutting its iPhone orders for 2016. Several sources have claimed that iPhone component suppliers are bracing for lower sales.
It seems Apple's biggest supplier, China's Foxconn, was forced to lay off some of its workers earlier than usual for the Chinese Lunar New Year break. The local Zhengzhou government has awarded Foxconn a $12 million subsidy to minimise the impact of these layoffs.
It seems Apple's suppliers found themselves idle in the final two months of 2015, when they'd typically be rushing to fulfil orders.
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This has been backed up by a Nikkei report that claims Apple is cutting its orders for the first quarter of 2016 by 30%. It claims that iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus inventories have been piling up at retailers across the globe.
This might seem surprising given the strong sales of the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus towards the end of 2015, but it seems Apple is finding it tougher than expected to grow demand for its phones.
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