Apple may trim its iPhone build orders for the rest of 2013, at least according to a new report from analyst Peter Misek.
In an investors note released Sunday, Misek said Apple has already
revised its build plans. iPhone orders for the calendar third quarter
will be cut to 25 million to 30 million from 40 million to 45 million
previously. And orders for the fourth quarter will drop to 50 million to
55 million from 60 million to 65 million.
Why the downturn? The analyst cited a few reasons, mostly notably
iPhone inventory checks at the stores of three vendors in the U.K.
“We had recently noted that smartphone inventory levels at retail and
carriers were elevated but were unsure which OEMs (original equipment
manufacturers) were most exposed,” Misek said. “Our survey of several
hundred Orange, Vodafone, and EE stores in the U.K. indicates that
inventories are elevated for iPhones and the Samsung Galaxy 3.”
Certain Apple suppliers are also seeing a drop in sales or orders, Misek added.
Manufacturing company Jabil
, which makes components for the
recently reported a weak quarter for its Apple-oriented operations.
Suppliers of memory modules have also started to shift third-quarter
orders away from Apple and toward other “emerging” companies.
“Our checks also indicate that Apple’s wafer starts at Samsung’s Austin fab have likely been cut,” the analyst added.
Misek’s analysis is based on inventory checks and other data from a
limited but noteworthy number of Apple vendors and suppliers. The report
didn’t point to any inventory levels outside the U.K., but the analyst
clearly sees this as a global problem for Apple.
Misek also cut his forecast for iPhone sales to 27 million from 30
million for the third quarter and to 45 million from 50 million for the
Looking ahead, the analyst believes Apple will likely launch the
iPhone 5S and a low-cost iPhone in September, followed by a Retina
iPad Mini in the fourth quarter. An iPhone 6 sporting a 5-inch screen may be on the agenda for next year.
Misek also had a mixed reaction to the beta of iOS 7.
think the new user interface’s cleaner look is a big improvement,” the
analyst said. “While iOS upgrades will be possible on the iPhone 4 and
iPhone 4S, our experience was quite poor (admittedly it is a beta) as
the OS puts too much of a strain on the processor. We speculate that iOS
7 could also be an attempt by Apple to spur upgrades.”