Apple has cut the number of iPhone XR units it is asking its Far East manufacturers to produce by up to 25%, according to a vaguely sourced report from Nikkei. The unnamed source told the Japanese news side of Nikkei that Foxconn has pulled multiple production lines for iPhone XR after Apple cut orders for the device. The report also claimed Apple boosted orders for iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus.
Apple and its Supply Chain
Historically speaking, reports from Apple’s supply chain about slowing sales or order cuts have—at best—have been hit and miss, with emphasis on the miss. Apple CEO Tim Cook has admonished Wall Street analysts to be careful when reaching conclusions based on any given leak from that supply chain. He has argued that Apple’s supply chain is so complicated and vast, that individual data points may not mean what they seem.
That may or may not be the case with this story, and taking it with a grain of salt is a good idea.
Production Leak Info
The source told Nikkei: “For the Foxconn side, it first prepared nearly 60 assembly lines for Apple’s XR model, but recently uses only around 45 production lines as its top customer said it does not need to manufacture that many by now.”
Another Taiwanese firm, Pegatron, is reported to have halted its plans to boost iPhone XR production. That company is supposedly waiting to receive further information from Apple. At the same time, Apple has asked Wistron, a smaller smartphone manufacturing firm, to prepare for rush orders over the Holiday period. However, this will not include orders for the iPhone XR.
While the production of the iPhone XR has been slowed, Apple is asking its manufacturers to produce more iPhone 8s and iPhone 8 Pluses. Last month, Phil Schiller defended the iPhone XR’s resolution, which is the same as found in the iPhone 8. Mr. Schiller, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing, told Engadget:
I think the only way to judge a display is to look at it. If you can’t see the pixels, at some point the numbers don’t mean anything. They’re fairly arbitrary.