Apple reportedly cuts 5G iPhone orders on fears of global recession

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This iPhone 12 concept borrows from Samsung.
Is Apple cutting back on its orders for the future iPhone 12? It appears so.
Image: ConceptsiPhone

Apple reportedly cut orders for its future 5G iPhones with Chinese component makers, fearing a slowdown in orders as a result of what many economists are already calling the beginnings of a global recession. 

Chinese daily technology newspaper Digitimes reported Friday some component suppliers have been told by Apple they will not need as many parts for new iPhones, expected to be released later this year. Other suppliers now say that they too expect a slowdown in orders from the iPhone-maker.

As one example, Digitimes said the new 5G iPhones will have a multi-camera design using voice coil motors, or VCMs. Sources said Apple made a significant order for the parts earlier this year. However, Cupertino reduced that purchase significantly in the past few weeks. That reduction in orders is a sign that Apple is pulling back on how many of the high-end handhelds it thinks it can sell initially.

It remains unknown exactly what function the VCM would have in a 5G iPhone. However, the part’s primary function is to move in one direction or another by way of power applied to a series of magnets.

According to the report:

“With Apple reportedly having reduced its shipment estimates in mid-April, VCM orders are expected to be seriously undermined, the sources noted.”

5G iPhones delayed?

As previous sources confirmed, Apple still plans on unveiling 5G iPhones this year. However, the Digitimes report claims “that mass shipments for the new mobiles might not pick up until the first half of 2021.” Specifically, models that would support the faster mmWave 5G standard might be affected.

The story also notes that the now-available second-generation iPhone SE could “cripple demand for high-end smartphones,” including 5G iPhones, given the worsening worldwide economic conditions as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.