Apple has cuts orders for iPhone 5 parts by half due to lower than expected demand, according to a new report.
The claims come via The Wall Street Journal, which cites “people familiar with the matter” as its source. According to the report, Apple’s orders for the 4-inch screens that go into the iPhone 5 have halved for the January to March period.
It’s not just iPhone 5 display orders that have been cut either. Apparently orders for other components are being reappraised by Apple. The company notified the relevant manufacturers last month.
This will come as some concern to Apple, if true, as the iPhone 5 is far from an old device nearing the end of its year-long premium cycle. It only hit shops at the end of September, less than four months ago.
Of course, this could simply mean that Apple is planning to launch a new iPhone sooner than expected, or that it intends to switch manufacturers. The WSJ goes with the gloomier assessment, though.
“The move indicates that sales of the new iPhone haven’t been as strong as previously anticipated and demand may be waning,” claims the report. It points to the ongoing success of Samsung – now the world’s largest smartphone producer – and the proliferation of cheaper Android devices as major contributing factors.
Whilst Apple had 23 per cent of the smartphone market in the first quarter of 2012, it had dropped to 14.6 per cent by the end of the third quarter. Samsung’s share, by contrast, grew to 31.3 per cent in the third quarter.
It’s no longer just a case of Samsung flooding the market with lots of moderately successful affordable smartphones, either. Last month we reported on the news that the Samsung Galaxy S3 had become the UK’s biggest-selling smartphone for the seventh month running, thus beating the newer iPhone 5.
Has Apple had its day? Is Samsung the new smartphone taste-maker? Let us know what you think through the Trusted Reviews Twitter and Facebook feeds, or take to the comments box below to have your say.