The iPhone 5 is one of Apple’s hottest selling smartphones, and with good reason. For the first time in the history of iPhones, it packs a bigger display without sacrificing on the pixel density of the IPS (in-plane switching) panel. But the device is now almost four months old in the market and there have been several other smartphones launching every day which pack substantially better specs and a smaller price tag. So one would generally expect the demand for the flagship iPhone to go down a little once that happens. And it seems like that is exactly what has happened with the iPhone 5 as reports are suggesting that Apple has cut down on orders for the display of the iPhone 5 by about 50%. This seems like a clear indication of the fall in demand for the iDevice, but it’s nothing to worry about actually. With the kind of devices that we saw being announced at the CES, especially the Sony Xperia Z and the ZL, I don’t think any 2012 smartphone would sell irrespective of its operating system. Next month we have the MWC in Barcelona which will reveal some more smartphones, so it seems like a pretty fun time for smartphone lovers, but not so much for existing flagship smartphones.
While the fall in demand could be one of the reasons for the cut off in order, it couldn’t be the only reason. Some very early rumors have hinted that Apple will unveil a new iPhone in June this year which is long before the yearly update cycle that Apple carries for its mobile devices. However, the update cycle has been changed with the third gen iPad which got updated within a span of 7 months, although many stated it was only to accommodate for the new lightning connector (and the faster A6X chip). iPhone 5 users will desperately hope this is just a rumor and it certainly seems that way. There is no evidence pointing towards an iPhone refresh at this point of time so we’ll go with the first and probably the real reason, which is decrease in demand.
These (separate) reports emerging from Nikkei and the Wall Street Journal do tell us that Apple is indeed expecting a fall in demand right after the holiday season. We can see this pace continue until the next iPhone is launched, so Apple should probably get used to it. One thing is for sure though, Apple certainly didn’t expect the demand to fall this early.