Earlier this week, a somewhat sketchy report arguing that Apple told its production partners to reduce iPhone XR production due to lower than expected demand. Even more worryingly, the report claimed that total production could fall by as much as 25%. Of course, many reports took as evidence that iPhone has hit its peak, although the report seemed to create far more questions than answers.
First of all, the demand for iPhone XR is beyond expectations, as opposed to a previous report by the reputable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who just raised its iPhone XR sales estimate for the December quarter. Furthermore, it seems strange that Apple will drastically cut production before the busy holiday trade season. So exactly what's happening right now?
As it turns out, Apple may actually order a return in production, but not for reasons related to demand. According to a research note from analyst Jun Zhang (originally produced by Philip Elmer-DeWitts Apple 3.0 ), there may have been some quality control issues involving the iPhone XR printed circuit board that led to a reduction in Production Output.
Zhang's note is in part:
We also believe that component intake slowed this week. We believe that some shipments of HDI cards were quickly lost in this week. This may be due to quality issues from Skyworks PA. We believe that this possible round of Apple XR production cuts may be due to the recently discovered PA quality issues.
In short, the sky does not fall and iPhone sales are not falling drastically. Far from that, it's the reason why Apple during the current holiday quarter will see a huge increase in iPhone sales due to a wide selection of 3 brand new iPhone models. Of course, with Apple no longer keen to free up quarterly iPhone sales, we really can not know how iPhone sales went relative to previous quarters.
To a large extent, the original report shows a decline in iPhone production, why Apple would like to keep iPhone sales close to the chest. As we saw here, a report on a decline in iPhone production can easily be interpreted in a completely misleading way and does not accurately depict the lifespan of Apple's business. Similarly, with iPhones not being launched on a particular schedule these days (with last year's iPhone X launch in November and the iPhone XR launch in late October this year), a random 1