Despite the iPhone 6s’ record-shattering 13 million unit sales in its first three days, reports coming out of Apple’s supply chain suggest that manufacturer Pegatron has stopped operating several of its iPhone 6s production lines in Shanghai — and may even be laying off some employees who were hired to work on the handset.
While this has the distinct feel of an unsubstantiated rumor to it, Pegatron has come forward and acknowledged that it’s actually true.
But hold back your “Apple will go bankrupt in six months” placards for now; things aren’t exactly as they first appear…
Specifically, Pegatron says that it has halted several of its iPhone 6s production lines in Shanghai… but only so that they can be moved to a factory in Kunshan, eastern China, where room is less tight than it had been in Shanghai.
As for the workers losing their jobs, those who are unwilling to move to the Kunshan factory will be laid off, Pegatron says.
There have been a growing number of reports suggesting that sales of the iPhone 6s indicate that Apple’s iPhone market may finally be slowing down. Yes, Apple sold 3 million units more this year in the handset’s first weekend than it did last year (where the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus sold 10 million units opening weekend.)
However, Apple also front-loaded sales this year by incorporating new markets into the launch lineup — including China, which Tim Cook thinks will soon represent Apple’s biggest market in the world. On a market-by-market basis, reports from some countries suggest that the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus may have sold around 10-15 percent fewer units than last year’s iPhone 6.
I’ll wait for a bit more clarification about this story, though. Even if Apple has lowered its orders from Pegatron, that could simply mean the company is shifting those orders to other manufacturers — ones, perhaps, which have suffered less damaging allegations about worker rights in recent times.