Apple cuts iPhone 14 Plus production due to weak demand: TrendForce

Apple Inc. reduces production of iPhone 14 Plus and increases production of the more expensive iPhone 14 Pro due to lukewarm demand for the mid-range model, market research firm TrendForce said Tuesday.

The share of more expensive iPhone 14 Pro series has risen to 60 percent of total output from the initially planned 50 percent, and it could rise to 65 percent in the future, the report said.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request from Reuters for comment.

Apple’s focus on high-end models could help counter the weakness in smartphone sales. In the midst of the chip crisis, Apple’s Pro and Pro Max premium-level devices, which were strong sellers, helped the company increase margins.

According to the TrendForce report, rising US interest rates could weigh on consumer spending, undermining demand for iPhones in the first quarter of 2023. This could lead to a 14 percent year-on-year drop in production to 52 million units.

Analysts have said in the past that the Pro and Pro Max versions of the iPhone 14 sold at a rapid pace, although demand for the base model, typically Apple’s bestseller, has been disappointing.

According to research firm Canalys, Apple was the only supplier in the top five to record shipment growth in the third quarter. The share increase came as the overall smartphone market shrank 9 percent, Canalys said.

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

TrendForce estimates that Apple’s share of production from India will exceed 5 percent by 2023 and will increase over the years.