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Apple’s Decision to Stop Disclosing iPhone Sales May Backfire as Company Reportedly Slashes Production

Apple has slashed the production of all of its 3 new iPhone models in recent weeks, according to a new Wall Street Journal report. Particularly hard hit is the iPhone XR, which has seen order cut-backs twice since its introduction in September, according to the Journal.

Apple didn’t immediately respond to Variety’s request for comment, and the company isn’t expected to be very transparent about its holiday quarter iPhone sales: Apple executives told Wall Street during the company’s fiscal Q4 earnings call earlier this month that it they would stop reporting iPhone sales numbers going forward.

This only leaves Apple watchers with supply chain chatter as a way to gauge the success of the iPhone — and the signals from companies manufacturing key components of Apple’s phone haven’t been good: Three key suppliers cut their quarterly profit estimates last week, blaming an unnamed major customer for cutting back orders, according to the Journal. And Foxconn, a fourth major Apple supplier, reportedly cut overtime hours.

Apple disclosed during its latest earnings report that iPhone sales in is fiscal Q4, which ended September 30, was flat year-over-year. The company was still able to grow profits because consumers gravitated towards more expensive models, including the iPhone X, which was introduced a little over a year ago.

The company used the increasing average iPhone sale price to justify a significant reporting. Until now, Apple had been reporting aggregate quarterly sales numbers for all of its iPhone models as well as iPads and other product categories. Apple’s CFO Luca Maestri said during the company’s Q4 earnings call that it would stop reporting these kinds of unit sales in the future. “A unit of sale is less relevant to us today than it was in the past,” Maestri said.

But with production reportedly declining, investors may take little solace in this “less is more” approach. Apple’s share price was down 3.6 percent Monday.

 

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