Apple has halved orders for iPhone 5 components, suggesting sales have not been as strong as expected, according to reports. The Wall Street Journal, cites “people familiar with the situation,” as saying Apple cut its order for iPhone 5 screens for the January-March quarter “by roughly half of what the company had previously planned to order.”
In a separate report from Japanese newspaper the Nikkei, the iPhone maker almost halved its order of liquid-crystal display panels from key suppliers.
Apple has told three suppliers, Japan Display, Sharp and LG Display, that it requires fewer screens, after previously requesting as many as 65 million units for the January to March quarter. Japan Display’s plant in Nomi, a key iPhone supplier, is expected to reduce output temporarily by between 70% and 80%, compared with the October to December period.
Apple notified suppliers about the reduced orders last month, according to the WSJ report, which adds that other component orders were also affected.
The news comes as Samsung announced sales of Samsung’s Galaxy S series have reached 100 million in under three years — faster than Apple’s iPhone, which took nearly four years.
Apple’s share price has tumbled by a quarter since September when iPhone 5 debuted. In contrast, Samsung’s shares powered to a new record last week.
Both companies are benefiting from the mobile boom as consumers prefer smartphones and tablets to the traditional desktop or personal computer. Research firm Gartner reported today that global sales of PCs slumped 5% in the last three months, to 90.3 million. Gartner said the launch of “compelling low-cost tablets” — such as the Google Nexus and Amazon Kindle Fire — was helping to drive the shift from PC to tablet.