Apple Reportedly Drops Plan To Boost iPhone 14 Production Amid Lagging Demand

It's been over three weeks since Apple launched the newest generation of iPhones. The new iPhone 14 lineup saw several changes this time, with the biggest one being the axing of the iPhone mini. As a result, the current generation of iPhones comes in four variants starting with the entry-level iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus models, which are joined by the more expensive Pro variants that include the iPhone 14 Pro and the iPhone 14 Pro Max.

A significant change with the current crop of iPhones is that the lower-priced variants of the device come powered by last year's Apple A15 Bionic chipset. This is the same chipset that powers all handsets from the iPhone 13 lineup from 2021. In 2022, however, Apple chose to reserve the newer, more powerful Apple A16 Bionic chipset exclusively for the Pro iPhones. Despite these somewhat controversial changes, Apple expected the iPhone 14 lineup to perform well, with the company expecting to assemble an additional 6 million units in 2022 alone.

However, if fresh reports are to be believed, Apple is going back on its plan to increase production of the iPhone 14 models. According to Bloomberg, demand for the iPhone 14 lineup is turning out to be lower than Apple expected. As a result, the company has reportedly asked its suppliers to scale down the production of these devices. A large chunk of these sales would have come from the upcoming holiday season, which has been a major source of revenue for iPhones in the past.

Strong demand for Apple's Pro-tier iPhone models

The gist of the Bloomberg report — which cites unnamed individuals said to be familiar with the dealings — is that Apple's iPhone 14 lineup is seeing less than expected demand from buyers who typically plan their upgrade cycles to match the release schedule of iPhones. Interestingly, despite this slump in demand, Apple is expected to sell the same number of handsets in 2022 as it did one year ago, the Bloomberg report adds. Current estimates put this number at 90 million units, which is close to Apple's original 2022 shipment targets.

While the report does not list the reasons for slowing demand, it does hint at the current state of China — which is in the midst of a major economic slump — as being one of the causes. Initial calculations estimate that sales for the iPhone 14 lineup in China are at least 11 percent lower than what they used to be in 2021. In addition to the impending China problem, the current state of affairs between Russia and Ukraine has also led to many issues that could indirectly impact the sales figures for iPhones this year. In fact, a study by research firm IDC has already indicated the likelihood of the smartphone market shrinking by 6.5% in 2022.

Another interesting nugget of information from the Bloomberg report is that demand for Apple's higher-end, more expensive "Pro" models is allegedly higher than the lower-priced options this time around. While the reasons for this aren't clear yet, there is a good chance that this demand is being driven by people enamored by newer features exclusive to the iPhone 14 Pro lineup.