In September, Apple launched three new iPhones, the premium iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max that start at Rs 99,900 and go all the way up to Rs 144,900. And then there is the “affordable” iPhone XR that starts at Rs 76,900 for base model, and goes all the way up to Rs 91,900. It may not have the OLED display with 3D Touch and dual rear cameras, but Apple did ensure that the iPhone XR comes with the latest chipset, and Face ID feature, among other improvements.
The iPhone XR also managed to get glowing reviews, both from the critics and users, but it is still one of the pricier models, which may be affecting the smartphone demand. As a result, Apple has reportedly cancelled the production boost that it was likely to give after the smartphone hit the shelves.
Watch: Apple iPhone XS, XS Max Hands On
According to Nikkei, Apple has told smartphone assemblers Pegatron and Foxconn to halt plans for additional production lines that they were to dedicate to the iPhone XR. According to sources in the supply chain, smaller iPhone assembler Wistron was asked to stand by for rush orders, but after the decision of cancelling the production boost, it is not likely to receive any orders this holiday season.
“For the Foxconn side, it first prepared nearly 60 assembly lines for Apple’s XR model, but recently uses only around 45 production lines as its top customer said it does not need to manufacture that many by now,” a source told Nikkei. This is not the first time, five years ago, when Apple launched the iPhone 5C with plastic back, it had cut production orders a month after its launch, which fuelled speculation of weak demand for the model.
Last week, Apple did warn that sales for this holiday quarter are likely to miss the expectations of Wall Street. Whether things change or not, that remain to be seen. At Rs 76,900, the iPhone XR is still on the expensive side, and maybe some cashback, EMI and buyback offers could help Apple sell significant number of units.