Apple Suppliers Worried About iPhone Demand, Production Ramp-Up for New iPhones Reportedly Postponed

Most of the factories in China that supply devices and components to Apple are back to churning out products, but Apple suppliers are said to be worried about how much demand there will be for the current iPhone models and the new iPhones expected in the fall.

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According to Reuters, a senior official at one of Apple's major supply companies said that orders for quarter ending in March are likely to drop 18 percent compared with the previous year. Production ramp-up for new 5G iPhones has also been postponed, though the official said it is still possible iPhones could launch as scheduled.

"No one is talking about manpower or material shortage (in China) anymore. Now everyone is looking at whether demand from U.S. and Europe could keep up," said the person, who has direct knowledge of the matter. "The focus now is the demand from consumers in the U.S. and Europe."

An Apple display supplier that had anticipated shipping 70 million ‌iPhone‌ displays to Apple is considering lowering that target to 58 million as well as reducing the workforce at its Apple production lines in Vietnam.

One supplier in Malaysia, a country now facing shutdowns, says that things are changing "on a day by day basis" because of ongoing supply chain disruptions.

Some suppliers are not expecting a drop in demand, however. An ‌iPhone‌ sensor supplier told Reuters that the current quarter was better than last year, and that the second quarter will also likely see a higher volume of shipments. "We are still producing as per the forecast given to us," said the source.

A report from Nikkei earlier this week suggested that Apple is considering delaying the 2020 iPhone launch by months, but that no decision had been made yet. The same report suggested that some suppliers have been asked to defer mass production schedules for two to three months, which is also mentioned in Reuters' report.

DigiTimes this morning said that suppliers who make printed circuit boards for the ‌iPhone‌ had not been asked to postpone volume production for components designed for the 2020 ‌iPhone‌, so there seem to be mixed reports coming from the supply chain at this time.

A week ago, Bloomberg said that the ‌iPhone‌ 12 models are still on course for a fall launch, so whether there will be changes to Apple's typical September ‌iPhone‌ launch plans remains to be seen.

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Top Rated Comments

JPack Avatar
55 months ago

tbh I dont really see a huge decrease of iPhone demand in 2020. Maybe a bit, but not much.
The two year contracts will still be taken out no matter what. Other puchases will simply be postphoned to summer / fall 2020.
Just ignore the pile of bodies next to the hospital and the 20% unemployment rate.

Yeah, I'm sure demand will be unaffected.
Score: 38 Votes (Like | Disagree)
1rottenapple Avatar
55 months ago

I mean, nice speculation, but that isn't playing out at the moment. If anything, people are using a ton of Apple Services, sitting at home.

Phones are the last thing people will give up.

20% unemployment is ridiculous and things have to get A LOT worse for that to play out. Piling up bodies? There are a few bad places, but the 80,000 Americans that died from the flu in 2018 still means this has a long way to go. Let's chill for a bit before sounding more alarm bells.

Don't we have enough of that already?
The difference is this virus has totally captured the world audience compared to a regular flu. Flights have stop, border crossing etc... people are losing jobs and maybe out of the employment pool for a significant amount of time. I just hope I’m totally wrong but when more than 500 NYPD cops test positive, this is a big deal. It will take years for the economy to recover because the economy and psychology goes hand in hand. If people feel safe they will spend money, buy cars, buy homes, drop 1k on a phone. But heck if people don’t feel safe they’ll hoard toilet paper and money.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
christianmiller Avatar
55 months ago
I want my next iPhone made in the USA and I am willing to pay a higher price for it.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Mr. Dee Avatar
55 months ago
Its not like I was gonna buy one anyway. Its an unpredictable time right now and I think for the common man and woman, they are worried about will there by any money to pay rent, buy food; will they even have a job in two months, will their health be intact. Luxury like this will not be at the top of the list. Pre COVID, your average person might have splurged on a new iPhone come fall. Sure, the super wealthy, those making 200k per year or even 75K will buy it, but just understand, thats not a reflection of the market. The iPhone is an aspirational device, but not everyone can afford to spend that amount right now.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
unchecked Avatar
55 months ago
It’s really hard to justify any big ticket purchases or non-essentials in these economic circumstances and wallets will tighten throughout this and quite possibly into next year. Demand will undoubtedly take a hit.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Baymowe335 Avatar
55 months ago

Just ignore the pile of bodies next to the hospital and the 20% unemployment rate.

Yeah, I'm sure demand will be unaffected.
I mean, nice speculation, but that isn't playing out at the moment. If anything, people are using a ton of Apple Services, sitting at home.

Phones are the last thing people will give up.

20% unemployment is ridiculous and things have to get A LOT worse for that to play out. Piling up bodies? There are a few bad places, but the 80,000 Americans that died from the flu in 2018 still means this has a long way to go. Let's chill for a bit before sounding more alarm bells.

Don't we have enough of that already?
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)