As it was gearing up to launch the iPhone 14 series Apple thought that it would need to increase production by as much as 6 million units. However, demand did not rise to the expected levels, so Cupertino has told its suppliers to scrap the plans to build more units, according to insiders cited by Bloomberg.
This means that the production target is going back to where it was this summer – 90 million units. Note that this is for the whole iPhone 14 family, but it is now clear that the four models are not equal in terms of popularity.
The iPhone 14 Pro and especially the 14 Pro Max are resonating with fans, the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus (which is yet to go on sale) are less popular than last year’s vanilla models. At least one Apple supplier is re-balancing its production to focus more on the Pro duo, according to insiders.
Part of the problem is that China, a very important market for Apple, is in an economic downturn (local smartphone brands are suffering too). This has led to 11% lower purchases in the first three days of iPhone 14 availability compared to the iPhone 13 family a year ago.
Global demand is down as well, amidst rising inflation and economic uncertainty. However, part of the blame for the lower than expected demand also lays with the iPhone 14 and 14 Plus themselves – the gap between them and their Pro counterparts is bigger than it has been in recent years, the upgrade over their predecessors not as big.