Tuesday, January 15, 2013

iPhone 5 component cuts not as severe as first thought, still reflect lower-than-expected demand

A Monday Wall Street Journal report of iPhone 5 component cuts led to Apple stock tanking, with the stock finishing Jan. 14 just slightly above $500, at $501.75. While reports on Tuesday stated that the original reports on Apple component order cuts were overstated, investors didn't seem to notice, with mid-morning (Pacific time) stock quotes showing Apple stock down another $15.

That Wall Street Journal (also reported by Nikkei) report suggested Apple had cut orders for iPhone 5 display panels in half, allegedly over weak demand. According to both reports, Apple recently slashed those orders from 65 million to about half that figure.

However, NPD DisplaySearch analyst Paul Semenza said that his own supply chain sources, and said that although Apple did indeed sharply cut its display panel orders for the month of January, it was not by 50 percent as those earlier reports had stated.

Semenza said Apple cut iPhone 5 display orders for the month of January from 19 million to between 11 million and 14 million. Assuming it was 11 million, that was about a 42 percent cut; if it was 14 million, it would be only 27 percent.

That word "only" is, of course, subjective. Either way, 50 percent, 42 percent, or 27 percent, its a large cut, and means that demand for the iPhone 5 is lower than Apple anticipated.

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