Apple to Keep iPhone Production Flat for 2022

Apple iPhone

Apple said it will keep production of its iPhone more or less flat this year as 2022 becomes a challenging time for smartphone makers.

As Bloomberg News reported Thursday (May 26), the tech giant has asked its suppliers for an estimated 220 million iPhones, nearly the same amount as in 2021, according to unnamed sources familiar with the matter.

That figure is 20 million units less than market forecasts, which were based on a planned update to the iPhone later this year.

Read more: China COVID Lockdowns Hamper iPhone Production

The news comes one day after reports that Apple had ordered suppliers to speed the pace of iPhone development following strict COVID-19 lockdown measures in China, which disrupted the production schedule.

Earlier this year, the company said it would make about 20% fewer iPhone SEs than anticipated, while also cutting back on production of its AirPod earbuds by 10 million units for the year. The company also asked suppliers to slow down iPhone 13 production by a couple of million units based on seasonal demand.

Learn more: Apple Slashing iPhone SE, AirPods, iPhone 13 Production

Bloomberg noted that the overall market for smartphones has seen rocky year, with shipments falling 11% in the first quarter, the worst decline since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. This month saw Xiaomi Corp. — the planet’s third-biggest smartphone maker after Apple and Samsung Electronics Co. — post its first-ever quarterly revenue decline.

Sources say Apple is counting on resilient demand for its devices as it has a relatively more affluent base of customers, with its software and services driving hardware sales. The company is also seeing reduced competition with rival Huawei Technologies shut out of markets.

Apple also hopes to draw in customers with a more groundbreaking version of the iPhone. While the iPhone 13, launched last year, was considered a minor update, the iPhone 14 — due this fall — is expected to offer more screen sizes and new features like satellite-based text messaging.