Apple warns suppliers of fading iPhone 13 signals – report

It's not what shareholders of companies in Apple's supply chain wanted to hear.

According to Bloomberg, citing sources "familiar with the matter," the Cupertino giant has told its parts suppliers that demand for iPhone 13 models – unveiled in September – has slowed.

If Bloomberg's sources have got their facts straight, "some consumers" are apparently going cold on the idea of acquiring what was described as a "hard-to-find item."

Look closely: Unnamed sources sent ripples through Apple's supply chain on claims that demand for iPhone 13 models has slowed.  (Source: Apple)
Look closely: Unnamed sources sent ripples through Apple’s supply chain on claims that demand for iPhone 13 models has slowed.
(Source: Apple)

In October, due to chip shortages, Apple cut next year's iPhone 13 production target from 90 million to 80 million. Bloomberg's sources are now suggesting that even this reduced supply will exceed demand.

Aside from Apple's shares taking a slight hit when news broke, Bloomberg reported that shares of iPhone component and semiconductor suppliers – including Qualcomm, Skyworks, ASML and Infineon – were also down. So much for holiday season cheer.

Captain Cook in choppy supply-chain waters

Apple CEO Tim Cook, speaking on the company's latest earnings conference call in October, said supply chain constraints were "affecting most of our products."

So much so that it cut $6 billion out of its most recent quarterly financial report. Cook explained that there were two big factors doing the damage: manufacturing slowdowns due to COVID-19 and shortages of silicon components for electronics. He said the COVID situation improved "materially" by the beginning of October, before caveating that silicon shortages were getting worse

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For the current holiday season quarter, Cook anticipates a hit to financials even bigger than the $6 billion whammy the previous quarter.

On the October conference call with analysts, Cook said customer demand for the iPhone 13 series was "very strong". Apple reported $39 billion in revenues from the iPhone during the previous quarter, up 47% year-on-year.

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— Ken Wieland, contributing editor, special to Light Reading

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