Apple reportedly cuts iPhone 14 Plus production

Apple reportedly cuts iPhone 14 Plus production
Last year Apple announced that it was doing away with the iPhone mini. The model with the 5.4-inch display twice (with the iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 13 mini) failed to gain any traction with the phone-buying public. So the crew in Cupertino had an epiphany; if going small doesn't work, we will go LARGE. Apple decided to replace the iPhone 13 mini this year with a 6.7-inch non-Pro model that Apple named the iPhone 14 Plus.

Replacing the iPhone mini with a large-screened "Plus" model hasn't helped overall iPhone demand

The 6.7-inch panel gives the iPhone 14 Plus the same screen size as the iPhone 14 Pro Max although the quality of the display is better on the pricier model. The iPhone 14 Plus also features the boring and static notch instead of the shape-shifting and entertaining Dynamic Island. It also doesn't have the spectacular camera setup found in the iPhone 14 Pro Max, nor does it offer the 120Hz refresh rate of the ProMotion display.

You might think that the outstanding battery life of the iPhone 14 Plus (it has a 4325mAh battery which is slightly larger than the 4323mAh battery powering the iPhone 14 Pro Max) and the lower price ($899 and up compared to the starting price of $1,099 for the iPhone 14 Pro Max) would have helped to generate some big time sales of the phone. But Apple had some manufacturing issues with the device which forced a delay in the handset's release to October 7th. The rest of the line was in stores on September 16th.

According to Reuters (via The Information), Apple has decided to cut production of the iPhone 14 Plus. The report alleges that Apple has already told one supplier in China to halt production of the components they make for the iPhone 14 Plus. In late September, another report indicated that demand for the entire iPhone 14 series was less than what Apple expected.

That report also said that the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone Pro Max have been outselling the non-Pro phones and that Apple has decided to shift some production to the more expensive models. In late September, those familiar with Apple's plans said that the company had changed its production target for the second half of the year to 90 million units which would be flat with the number of iPhone 13 models that were produced during the second half of 2021.

Some of the problems that Apple is seeing has to do with softening demand for smartphones in general. Research firm Canalys says that the smartphone market declined 9% during the third quarter on a year-over-year basis. The firm also says to expect weak smartphone demand over the next six to nine months.

Some critics will question the timing of this story

Some critics will point out that almost every year Apple is rumored to cut iPhone production for one reason or another. Within a few weeks afterward, another story comes out denying that Apple sliced production. The timing of this story is interesting considering that Apple is expected to report its fiscal fourth-quarter earnings on October 27th. This is a very volatile time for the stock as professional traders are taking positions on Apple's shares based on what they believe the fiscal fourth quarter results will be.

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The possibility of Apple cutting production along with a weak general market has pushed the company's shares down slightly this afternoon. Some traders will fade stories like this and buy the stock or call options paying a cheaper price because of the decline in the stock generated by this news.

Some Apple investors (more like gamblers to be honest with you) consider reports like today's to be created as a way to manipulate the price of Apple's shares. However, considering that we have been seeing a slowdown in smartphone demand in general due to economic conditions worldwide.

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