Apple is reportedly cutting iPhone 15 production due to ‘demand concerns’

iPhone 14 Pro Max on a pink background
The iPhone 14 Pro Max is Apple's most expensive iPhone yet (Image credit: Future / Apple)

The Apple rumor mill is an unpredictable beast. One minute, we’ll hear that the iPhone 15 is on track to become the best-selling iPhone in years, and the next, analysts are warning that iPhone 15 sales could be relatively poor in 2023.

The latest intelligence, however, gives more credence to the latter prediction, with seasoned tipster Jeff Pu claiming (via 9to5Mac) that Apple is cutting iPhone 15 production targets due to fears over limited consumer demand in 2023.

According to Pu, Apple has adjusted its end-of-year iPhone 15 sales estimates from 83 million units to 77 million units, with “demand concerns” playing a key role in the decision. It’s thought that rumored iPhone 15 price increases could discourage existing iPhone owners from upgrading their devices this year.

“The build plan cut before launch isn’t a positive signal, and the potential price hike for iPhone 15 Pro Max could also dampen the end-demand,” Pu wrote in an investor note seen by 9to5Mac.

There’s no certainty around how much the iPhone 15 and its siblings will cost this year, but analysts are in general agreement that every iPhone 15 model will be more expensive than its iPhone 14 equivalent, owing to increased production costs on Apple's part.

International markets have endured iPhone price increases as recently as last year’s iPhone 14 line, but a series-wide price increase for the iPhone 15 line would mark the first of its kind in the US since 2017.

Pu also suspects that – in addition to fears over limited consumer demand – supply chain issues have dampened Apple’s post-launch hopes for the iPhone 15 line. The analyst cites Sony’s camera sensors, the new titanium frame for the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max, and the almost bezel-free display for the same two models as the components facing mass production delays.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves – the iPhone 15 will still be among the best-selling phones of 2023. For reference, Samsung reportedly sold 2.77 million Samsung Galaxy S23 phones in the month after the series’ February 2023 release, and that figure represented a year-on-year increase of 102% over the Galaxy S22 series. If Pu's intel is correct, Apple’s ‘reduced’ year-end iPhone 15 sales target now sits at 77 million units – that’s 77 million units in four months.

So, no, the iPhone 15 line won't – and was never going to – sell poorly, but Apple would be wise to hold fire on price increases for future iPhone models if it hopes to maintain the continued loyalty of its huge customer base.

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Axel Metz
Phones Editor

Axel is TechRadar's UK-based Phones Editor, reporting on everything from the latest Apple developments to newest AI breakthroughs as part of the site's Mobile Computing vertical. Having previously written for publications including Esquire and FourFourTwo, Axel is well-versed in the applications of technology beyond the desktop, and his coverage extends from general reporting and analysis to in-depth interviews and opinion.  Axel studied for a degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick before joining TechRadar in 2020, where he then earned an NCTJ qualification as part of the company’s inaugural digital training scheme.