For years Apple had maintained consistency with its iPhone releases. Each year the company would tout one new iPhone as the smartphone to have, and it worked. Apple has maintained a dominant position at the top of the high-end smartphone market for over half a decade.
This year, with smartphone market growth slowing in established markets, Apple altered its iPhone release to include the new, less expensive iPhone that could make headway in emerging markets such as China and Brazil. To differentiate the iPhone 5C it from the still-premium iPhone 5S, Apple gave the phones colorful (some might say gaudy) case designs.
Now evidence is mounting that this new gambit hasn’t worked the way Apple might have hoped.
Back in October, rumors were already flying that Apple had halved its production of the iPhone 5C. This new pointed to slow early sales that may have been related to the device’s relatively high (though low, for iPhone standards) price of $549. Now DigiTimes is reporting that Apple has again slashed iPhone 5C orders from at lease one major manufacturer.
The report cites unnamed “industry sources” as saying Apple has reduced its iPhone 5C orders from Taiwanese manufacturer Pegatron by over half. Long-time Apple manufacturer Foxconn is also rumored to have had its 5C orders reduced, with workers now transferred to iPhone 5S assembly.
According to DigiTimes, Pegatron was to be responsible for as much as 70% of the iPhone 5C manufacturing to take place in the next year, with Foxconn making up the rest. Both Pegatron and Foxconn have denied these rumors, with Pegatron claiming that it will maintain its original production schedule.