The Wall Street Journal has created a stir with this piece claiming that Apple quietly cut orders for iPhone 5 components as demand for the gadget hasn’t met expectations. Citing unnamed “people familiar with the situation, the Journal said Apple slashed its order for iPhone screens during the current quarter by about half and has cut orders for other parts as well. The Journal piece echoed a similar story from Japan’s Nikkei indicating Apple initially expected to sell roughly 65 million iPhones during the second quarter of 2013.
The news spawned a flurry of follow-up stories in both the mainstream press and the tech world, and worried investors sent Apple shares below $500 for the first time in nearly a year. But Boy Genius Report takes a hard look at both stories and finds that the numbers don’t quite add up. BGR notes that a more realistic forecast for iPhone 5 sales during the “seasonally soft March quarter” is more like 25 million to 35 million units, so the claim the figure of 65 million units — a figure the Journal included before dropping it out of the text — was unrealistically high to begin with.
I think it’s likely that demand for the iPhone is slipping a bit: While it’s still one of the best handsets on the market, it no longer is head and shoulders above the competition. But I’d be very surprised if demand is plummeting the way the Journal and Nikkei imply.