Apple is taking much more cautious approach with iPhone orders this year, cutting component orders by 20-percent, according to a report from Nikkei. At the onset of the launch of the iPhone X, Apple was quite vigorous in its belief the new flagship would stir up sales to record-breaking numbers. The iPhone X was a runaway hit, just not at the level Apple had hoped for and in 2018 it’s curbing expectations inline with those results.
Four sources with knowledge of Apple’s manufacturing process told Nikkei that Apple has ordered suppliers to build “around 20 percent fewer” components. Last year, Apple ordered around 100 million units of the iPhone 8, 8 Plus and X. With the recent component scale-back, that number falls to around 80 million for the three iPhone models expected this year: the iPhone X successor, iPhone X Plus, and the low-cost iPhone model with a 6.1-inch LCD display.
Interestingly, sales of the iPhone X were said to be low because of its $1,000 price. While that’s about the price of a modern flagship, it didn’t make the iPhone X universally appealing. To combat that, it has been rumored Apple may lower the price of the iPhone X, while the company is said to be developing a low-cost iPhone model that will exclude features like the OLED panel and 3D Touch.
If the new low-cost iPhone is a success, it wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility for Apple to eclipse its original estimates.
The report went on to say Apple is preparing its supply chain earlier than last year to ensure the OLED iPhone models launch in September, as opposed to November like it did last year due to OLED panel constraints. Assembly of the iPhone X and iPhone X Plus model is expected to begin in July, while the LCD iPhone model will begin in August.
Apple is expected to hold its iPhone event in September, where we should see the three new models.