AirPods, Apple Watch, and Mac flops have Apple slashing orders, insiders say
Apple has reportedly told its parts suppliers to cut back on deliveries because of lower-than-expected demand for AirPods, Apple Watches, and MacBooks.
Supply chain sources claim that Apple has told suppliers to build fewer components because it doesn’t need them, with one source telling Nikkei Asia (opens in new tab) that the order came from Apple in the quarter ending in December 2022. “Apple has alerted us to lower orders for almost all product lines,” they said.
Apple isn’t the only company that has revised its orders, however. One executive at an electronic component maker that supplies Apple, Samsung, and Chinese smartphone makers is quoted as saying that the situation is “very chaotic,” adding that COVID-19 restrictions and their recent removal are also impacting orders. Companies are said to be struggling for workers, while others are apparently “resigned to catching the virus.”
Apple has been struggling with supply chain issues ever since COVID-19 took the world by storm in early 2020, but recent lockdowns at a key Chinese Foxconn plant meant that iPhone 14 Pro supply was crippled at a time when Apple should have been experiencing a strong holiday quarter. But with manufacturing now ramping up, the company is still reportedly keen to have parts makers cut their production.
Some analysts, including Ming-Chi Kuo, had previously warned that supply constraints could see customers skip the iPhone 14 lineup entirely, choosing to wait until next year to buy a new handset instead. Ongoing global economic uncertainty and inflation are both unlikely to have helped with iPhone sales in recent months.
While it isn’t clear which models of AirPods, Apple Watches, or MacBooks are experiencing weaker demand than expected, we can make calculated guesses. Recent AirPods Pro 2, Apple Watch Series 8, and the M2 MacBook Air releases are likely some of those impacted.