The bad news keeps piling on for Apple. Now, Digitimes reports that the firm has ordered a second round of iPhone order reductions from its manufacturers.
“Apple has reportedly enforced a second wave of order reduction in the wake of weaker-than-expected sales for its new iPhones,” the Digitimes report notes. “Many other Taiwan supply chain partners are beginning to feel the pinch in November … An iPhone assembler has also advanced its workforce trimming project, seeking to reduce personnel cost and other expenses to counter the greater-than-expected reduction of orders.”
Digitimes has a spotty record, for sure. But Apple has been stung by a series of sales setbacks related to the new iPhones—the iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR—none of which have apparently sold as well as Apple or its partners expected. There’s simply too much evidence here to overlook what’s happening.
And there’s more evidence of soft iPhone sales than what we’ve reported so far. Apple is now offering better trade-in deals when customers upgrade to a new iPhone. And the firm dropped the price of the iPhone XR by $100 in Japan.
Apple’s next earnings report will be interesting. The company has already warned that it will not disclose unit sales for the first time. But the language that Tim Cook and other Apple executives use will be very telling. In the past, Apple has always described “record” iPhone sales. This time, they’ll need to search for another success metric, much as Microsoft does in its own vaguely-reported earnings.