Might ominous signs be emerging from the supply channel for Apple’s iPhone X?
According to a DigiTimes news report, the tech giant has told some of its component suppliers to hold back on shipping at least some of the parts used in the iPhone X. The site said it had gotten this information through sources at “Taiwan-based upstream component suppliers.”
The delivery slowdown means that only about 40 percent of components are being shipped from the total amount that had been initially estimated for the devices. In terms of production, at least for several suppliers, that reduced rate still demands an increase in activity at the component manufacturers – largely because some of the manufacturers have been seeing low yields from current production lines.
The reasoning behind the pull back? DigiTimes reported via its unnamed sources that Apple is stepping back to observe the pre-sale orders of the iPhone X, and also wants to gauge the sales of the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus – all observances that would take place before the iPhone X production would ramp up to full capacity.
In addition, DigiTimes noted that Apple had also held back on full production of the iPhone 7 last year. In that strategy, the company had only 60 percent of components shipped through the supply chain, and then had the leftover 40 percent shipped within the subsequent two months.
As noted last week in PYMNTS, some analysts observed that preorders for the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus were weak, as Jun Zhang of Rosenblatt Securities surmised in a report that consumers were waiting for the iPhone X. In another report, this one by Piper Jaffray, the iPhone 8 has seen mixed reception among several hundred consumers surveyed by the firm. The survey found that only a mid-teens percentage of respondents expect to upgrade to a new phone this year, about the same level as last year.