Apple’s latest smartphone – the iPhone XR, touted as its budget flagship device – has reportedly had its additional production lines cut after weak sales.
Nikkei Asian Review reported on Tuesday that Apple told its top smartphone assemblers Foxconn and Pegatron to halt plans for additional production lines dedicated to the smartphone.
“For the Foxconn side, it first prepared nearly 60 assembly lines for Apple’s XR model, but recently uses only around 45 production lines as its top customer said it does not need to manufacture that many by now,” the Nikkei quoted one source as saying.
The New Daily contacted Apple Australia for comment, but did not receive a response.
Apple shares sank as much as 4.5 per cent after-hours on Friday, which further fuelled concerns the iPhone XR faced weaker demand compared to the iPhone XS and XS Max that were unveiled in September.
The tech giant sold close to 47 million iPhones during the quarter ending September 30, which is about the same it sold a year ago.
Meanwhile, iPad sales were down 6 per cent year-over-year, totalling 9.7 million for the quarter. Mac sales were also down by 2 per cent, totalling 5.3 million.
The iPhone XR starts from $1229, boasts a 6.1-inch screen that is based on an older display technology in LCD, and looks ever-so-slightly inferior to the OLED screens on the XS phones.
The XR’s single-lens camera is also less capable than the dual-lens cameras on the XS models. Yet the XR can still produce very satisfying photos of people using portrait mode, also known as the bokeh effect.
Despite its innovative features, the smartphone appears to have a number of network issues, with several users taking to Apple’s official forum to express anger over their new smartphones.
“I have an XR on iOS 12.1 and the cell reception is worse than my iPhone 7 Plus. Really disappointed that the phone part of the iPhone is not improved,” one user wrote.
“I have been having connectivity issues with both my carriers and Wi-Fi networks. I recently upgraded from an iPhone 6s with fabulous connectivity to this new iPhone XR with very poor connectivity,” another user said.
In 2016, Apple introduced its budget iPhone SE, at a starting price of $US399, but also failed to lure more customers to buy that product.