Apple has reportedly lowered production orders for the recently launched iPhone SE and its AirPods wireless earphones amid concerns that demand for its devices will decline due to wider economic challenges.
The Cupertino-based company released the revamped version of its mid-range handset earlier this month, the first in the line to include 5G compatibility. It is also the first iPhone to be made from carbon-neutral aluminium.
Apple had hoped the device would expand its reach and market share, building on the strong performance of the iPhone 13 range launched in late in 2021.
iPhone SE demand
However, according to Nikkei, the firm plans to manufacture 20% fewer iPhone SE handsets than previously planned, while the number of AirPods units made will be lowered by ten million across the whole year.
The supposed concern is that the economic impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine could compound market challenges created by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Global lockdowns lowered consumer demand, closed retail outlets, and created a component shortage from which the mobile industry is yet to fully recover.
Now, consumers face rising food and energy prices and may refrain from making exceptional purchases such as a new smartphone and retain their existing device. Others may decide to opt for a cheaper alternative to Apple’s iPhone range.
Apple has already stopped shipments of its products to Russia, where it is the third largest manufacturer with 16% of the market.
The company has been contacted for comment.
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Steve McCaskill is TechRadar Pro's resident mobile industry expert, covering all aspects of the UK and global news, from operators to service providers and everything in between. He is a former editor of Silicon UK and journalist with over a decade's experience in the technology industry, writing about technology, in particular, telecoms, mobile and sports tech, sports, video games and media.