Apple Cuts iPhone 14 Plus Production – Report

Market researcher TrendForce has provided an insight to the market reception of Apple’s latest iPhone handsets, namely the iPhone 14 portfolio.

Released last month, the iPhone 14 portfolio arrived at a time when household bills are heading in the wrong direction, soaring inflation, and an economic downturn – all of which is a real test of consumer appetite for the new handsets.

And with the European Parliament finally legislating the end of proprietary charging ports such as Apple Lightning connector, there is analyst concern that many iPhone users will hold off upgrading to the iPhone 14, and rather wait until the arrival of the iPhone 15 – potentially with a USB-C charging port.

Apple iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus

TrendForce prediction

Apple is due to release its fourth earnings report on Thursday evening, and all eyes will be on how the iPhone series is selling.

Ahead of that, market researcher TrendForce announced that iPhone 14 sales are favourable but cannot vanquish rising inflation.

It said that looking at Apple’s 2022 sales, the iPad maker began adjusting the proportion of new products after the initial wave of pre-orders.

And it noted that the market response to the iPhone 14 Plus has been “lukewarm, escalating Apple’s product adjustment process.”

TrendForce noted that Apple kept US pricing for the iPhone 14 Pro handsets the same as last year, “making pre-orders for the Pro series highly popular.”

But the US price retention most definitely does not apply outside America, with users in Europe for example paying more money for the devices.

This price increase for none-US users also applies to Apple’s recently released iPad devices, where Apple has dramatically raised the prices of its tablet portfolio, even the models that have not been upgraded.

TrendForce said that “in the past, the Pro series was the first choice for the earliest wave of users. In addition, the delayed launch of the 14 Plus this year has led to more concentrated buying than in previous years.”

Pro rather than Plus

TrendForce indicates that the production ratio of the two models of the iPhone 14 Pro series has been increased from the initially planned 50 percent to 60 percent, and it cannot be ruled out that this ratio will continue rising to 65 percent in the future.

At present, the overall proportion of new iPhone models in Apple’s shipments will remain at 36 percent and the company’s 2022 iPhone shipment target is 240 million units, an annual increase of 2.8 percent, said TrendForce.

TrendForce pointed out, while the US continues to raise interest rates to curb inflation, undercutting disposable consumer income, Apple’s production performance will feel these effects in 1Q23. Production is expected to be lowered to 52 million units from an earlier estimate of 56 million units, a 14 percent decline YoY.

Last month, Apple said it would manufacture its latest iPhone 14 in India, as the tech giant moves some of its production away from China to hedge risks arising from the growing tensions between Washington and Beijing.

TrendForce estimates the share of Apple’s output from India to exceed 5 percent in 2023 and increase over the years.

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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