According to a report from Bloomberg, Apple has chosen against increasing iPhone production in 2022 as the smartphone market sees slowing demand and an ensemble of other problems.
Cupertino has instead asked suppliers to assemble approximately 220 million iPhones, which is about the same as last year, according to sources. In comparison, market estimates have pegged production at around 240 million units in anticipation of the launch of this year’s iPhone in the fall.
The smartphone industry as a whole has been racked by inflationary pressure on the costs of components and logistics, the fallout from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, COVID-19 lockdowns in China, and global supply chain headwinds.
Apple has also lowered revenue forecasts for the current quarter by $4-8 billion as a result.
Strategy Analytics expects global smartphone shipments to decrease by as much as 2% in 2022. In the first quarter alone, shipments dropped by 11%.
Apple, however, is uniquely positioned for a better year than its competitors with a major update to the iPhone coming in September.
The iPhone 14 will feature a generational processor upgrade, an improved rear camera array, and a new front camera, in addition to being the first iPhone to ditch the dreaded display notch. Last year’s iPhone 13, on the other hand, was an incremental update.
This year’s iPhone will also offer a revamped selection of screen sizes as it will axe the “mini” model and replace it with a larger-screened version of the base iPhone 14.
According to a report from earlier this week, the development of at least one iPhone 14 model is delayed by three weeks due to China lockdowns.
Even so, Apple’s supply chain has remained “surprisingly resilient” through the recent COVID-19 lockdowns and consequent production disruptions in China. iPhone 14 sales will also benefit from the fact that an estimated 240 million active iPhones have not been upgraded in the past 3.5 years. In China, one of Apple’s biggest markets, iPhone purchase intent is currently at a six-year high.