The iPhone 6s smashed records in its first weekend on sale, selling a massive 13 million handsets in just three days. However, integrated circuit makers in Apple’s supply chain are complaining that Apple is reportedly lowering its number of orders for this year’s holiday season.
Apple is said to have ordered between 75-80 million iPhone 6s and 6s Plus handsets as its first order, but is lowering its subsequent Q4 order to “just” 65-70 million. This is a smaller figure than the 75 million units suppliers were banking on, and is prompting surprise on the part of manufacturers.
As noted, the iPhone 6s did a monster opening weekend this year, although this also included the massive market that is China. Last year, China was not part of the iPhone 6 opening weekend due to regulatory problems which delayed the release of the handset. Apple hasn’t released a breakdown of where sales took place, but it’s perfectly possible that demand has been lower for the new iPhones, and that the 13 million number is bolstered by the number of markets included on launch day.
Last year’s iPhone 6 launched in ten markets, including the U.S., Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Puerto Rico, Singapore and the United Kingdom. This year, the iPhone 6s launched in a total of 12 countries, with China and New Zealand joining the 2014 line-up.
Before anyone gets too concerned though, this is just one supplier — and we’ve heard contradictory reports from others. Prior to the launch of the iPhone 6s, Japan Display CEO Mitsuru Homma came forward about the fact that Apple is increasing its iPhone 6s orders. “They’re coming to us with more orders, saying ‘give us more, give us more’. They keep increasing,” Homma said.
There are plenty of possibilities at play here, such as the fact that Apple is shifting around suppliers, or just feels it’s got more of a gauge on how much inventory it needs for the growing Chinese market (which was more of an unknown last year.)
Let’s not forget that the last time Apple released an incremental “s” iPhone release, it took 10 days to hit the 13 million mark. And we thought that was amazing at the time.