blue white pink iPhone 5c side by side

Apple has asked its iPhone suppliers in China to cut down on production of its iPhone 5c model, according to a new report by The Wall Street Journal. This is the second time we’ve heard this in as many weeks.

Last week, it was reported by Chinese web site C Technology that Apple had cut their iPhone 5c orders in half—from 300K units per day, to 150K—spawning speculation that the device isn’t selling very well…

From The Journal’s report:

“Apple Inc. AAPL +0.53% has notified its two assemblers for the low-cost iPhone 5C that it is reducing orders of the smartphone for the fourth quarter, people familiar with the situation said, raising concerns about weaker-than-expected demand and its pricing strategy for the device. 

Pegatron, which analysts say assembles two thirds of the iPhone 5Cs, was told orders would be cut by less than 20%, said a person familiar with the matter. Hon Hai, which assembles the remaining low-cost iPhones, was told orders would be cut by a third, said two people familiar with the matter.”

While much of the tech world is quick to put an ‘Apple is doomed’ spin on this information, there are just way too many unknown variables here to say that this is evidence that the iPhone 5c isn’t selling.

It’s also important to remember that although Apple is marketing the 5c as a new device, it’s essentially the iPhone 5—Apple’s mid-tier device. How concerned were folks with iPhone 4s sales figures last year?

iOS 7 teaser (iPhone 5c ad 005)

Of course, as we’ve said before, anytime the words ‘cut’ and ‘production’ are used in the same sentence describing an Apple product, investors and analysts panic. Regardless of the reason, it’s just bad PR.

The good news, though, is that The Journal is also reporting that Apple has raised orders for its high-end iPhone 5s for Q4. The handset has been hard to find, but shipping times recently dropped to 2-3 weeks.

All of this will make for great fodder for analysts during the Q&A portion of Apple’s upcoming quarterly earnings call. It’s slated to begin at 2pm PST on Oct. 28, and as usual, we’ll be bringing you the highlights.

  • ap3604

    As a customer I find it appalling that Apple would put a cheap plastic shell on an already year old device and talk like they actually came out with two brand new iPhones this year.

    I hope the iPhone 5c falls flat on its face and teaches Apple a lesson about being not cheap bastards anymore from now on.

    • Terence Ho

      And since they made it cheaper to make, then they should lower the price a bit more! lol

      • bigtalk

        lol you must not understand capitalism

    • Rowan09

      Using plastic doesn’t mean it cheap and by that I mean the price it costs to make. It’s cheaper but not cheap, the 5c is a premium device, it should not be compared to the low end Androids selling for sub $300. The 5c is Apples way of getting customers who want a cheap phone on contract usually for less than or equal $100.

    • diggitydang

      I know what you mean, but look at the Galaxy line – are you appalled with the Galaxy Mini? They put out a Galaxy Mini with lower specs and it was considered a new model when it came out a couple months (?) ago… I think the 5C is actually a great device and I like the diversity of color options… I wish it was priced lower though, as it’s currently priced too closely to the 5S (people would just buy the 5S, if they’re considering the 5C).

      Also, the Galaxy S4 & Note 3 are considered premium devices, but one has a plastic backing, while the other is made of faux-leather… I’m not saying that they’re cheap – quite the contrary… people love them and there is a large share of the market that believes it blows the iPhone out of the water (I’m not one of them! 😛 ).

  • Rahul Srivastava

    Could we have a flood of Gold iPhone 5Ss

    • Antzboogie

      Lol I agree!

  • Jason

    You know everyone says the 5c is a failure, I wanna know, by what standard is the 5c a failure? Selling less than the 5s? ” the flagship ” or maybe compared to samsung or Nokia HTC maybe? Did any of their models outsell the 5c? ( won’t know till the 28th ) so if they maybe fell short would that mean that all their companies are doomed too?

    • TesticularFortitude

      The armchair analysts writing for tech blogs have no standards to measure its success or failure by. There won’t be anything of substance until Apple reveals its hand.

      According to Wall Street, Apple only sold 5-6 million iPhones during opening weekend – Of course, the ‘Street’ was incorrect yet again.

      We’ll know soon enough.

    • bigtalk

      apple sees it thats why they are cutting back so soon especially right before

  • Bob

    5C shouldn’t exist, if it was half the price it is, then it would be acceptable, but in it’s current state, it’s an overpriced plastic iPhone 5.

    • Pitchy

      My thoughts exactly. Apple needs to figure out if they want a sub premium phone for the budget crowd and if they, then they need to get out of that premium price model and go with a more budget oriented price. If the price was lower, they might be selling more.

      • Guest

        I have yet to see someone out in public using a 5C. The only 5C I have seen has been at the AT&T store.

      • ✪ aidan harris ✪

        Same here. I’ve yet to see people using the 5c. Although someone pointed out that the price on contract is great font forget not everyone likes contracts and would prefer an unlocked sim-free phone. If you go down that root with the iPhone 5c the price is simply unapologeticically unacceptable. The price difference between the 5c and 5s is only $100 (correct me if I’m wrong). You might as well save up for the 5s…

      • Kurt

        I’d rather buy a used iPhone 5. Save money and not have the horrid glossy plastic. I prefer plastic over metal if it’s not glossy plastic.

      • TesticularFortitude

        How many have they sold?

    • Rowan09

      I don’t agree. I honestly believe the 5c is more for contracts instead of non-contract phones. The price on contract is great at $50-$100 but without a subsidy it’s a little expensive. My friend has a LG phone I can’t remember the name on Metro PCS and it cost around $400 and it’s a subpar Android device without being able to upgrade to the new OS etc. The 5c is a premium device in a plastic shell, it doesn’t mean it should be valued at the same price as subpar Android phones because those phones lack features and upgrade ability. The 5c and use the same apps and the new OS just like the 5s. If people wanted a cheap iPhone and Apple said we’ll sell a $300 device that can only go on 5.0 they wouldn’t be happy, they would complain why can’t we get IOS 7. No matter what Apple a luxury brand company does they will always have a negative backlash.

    • bigtalk

      yup welcome to the new apple.. they tried a pure greed tactic and it failed..

  • sn1p3r

    The iphone 5c is a mistake by apple. Compared to the 5s, the 5c is thicker, heavier, plastic and has last year hardware. It should be more than $100 cheaper than the 5s in order to make it more attractive to prospective customers.

    • bigtalk