WSJ: Apple Cuts Orders of iPhone Parts Following Low Demand

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Apple has cut orders for iPhone 5 components due to "weaker-than-expected demand" for the device.

Citing "people familiar with the situation", the Journal claims that Apple has cut its orders of iPhone 5 screens for the January-March quarter, for instance, by half. If the rumors are true, they suggest that the phone isn't selling as well as Apple anticipated—or, more unlikely, that its plans are changing.

Certainly, Apple's share of the smartphone market has been shrinking of recent times, dropping from a peak of 23 percent in the final quarter of 2011 to 15 percent in the third quarter of 2012. Elsewhere, Android is going from strength to strength—with Samsung stealing Apple's lead, now commanding 31 percent of smartphone sales. Changes aside, though, it's worth remembering that Apple's position is slipping from what was a very strong position: it sold 27 million phones in the third quarter of 2012, after all.

If the rumors are true, and order cuts do reflect ailing sales, it will be interesting to see how Apple adapts in order to breathe life into the brand. Equally, though, it might be sensible to hold off and consider Apple's latest earning figures—expected sometime later this month—before we all speculate too wildy. [WSJ]