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Apple already telling suppliers to cut down expectations for iPhone XR orders

The Apple iPhone XR in many ways is a direct competitor to Android, but it doesn't look like things are going so well thus far.

Published onNovember 5, 2018

The Apple iPhone XR as depicted on stage during the Apple Event 2018.
  • Apple has informed several of its suppliers that expectations should be tempered for orders of the Apple iPhone XR.
  • Apple reportedly told three different suppliers to reduce or completely eliminate production lines for the device.
  • The company also warned last week that overall sales for the holiday season would likely be lower than expected.

Although Apple never said as much when it launched the Apple iPhone XR in September, its fairly obvious the device is meant to be more a direct competitor with the Android market. Its cheaper build materials, colorful design, and emphasis on core features are in stark contrast with the luxury-minded Apple iPhone XS and XS Max.

However, it looks like the iPhone XR isn’t selling as well as Apple might have hoped, according to a new report from Nikkei Asian Review. Reportedly, Apple has instructed three separate suppliers to either reduce or completely eliminate production expectations for the new device.

The report says Apple informed its primary suppliers — Foxconn and Pegatron — to halt plans for additional production lines for the iPhone XR. In Hon Hai Technology Group (Foxconn)’s case, it prepared 60 production lines for the iPhone XR, but so far has only used 45. Reportedly, Apple told Hon Hai Technology Group (Foxconn) it does not need the extra lines.

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Apple’s smaller supplier, Wistron, was reportedly told to eliminate all expectations of producing any iPhone XR parts. Apple previously told Wistron to stand by for rush orders, but now the supplier will not receive any orders for the holiday season.

If this all sounds familiar, you’re probably thinking of the Apple iPhone 5C, which Apple launched five years ago. The cheaper, plastic-backed iPhone didn’t sell well at all, and Apple reduced supply expectations a month after it released.

It’s too early to tell if the iPhone XR will have a similar fate as the iPhone 5C. However, it doesn’t bode well that the device is seeing such little demand, especially when you consider it delivers the same speed as the iPhone XS with many similar features — at a much lower cost.

On a related note, Apple’s recent earnings call noted that overall sales for the holiday season would likely be lower than expected. During that call, Apple also — for the first time ever — neglected to give iPhone sales numbers for the quarter.

NEXT: The one thing Android OEMs can learn from the iPhone XR

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