Apple reportedly slashes Q4 iPhone 4S orders on weaker than expected demand

Apple sold more than 4 million iPhone 4S handsets in the smartphone’s first weekend of availability but according to a new report, Apple thinks demand for its latest phone will stall in the fourth quarter. DigiTimes on Wednesday reported that Apple has cut fourth-quarter iPhone 4S parts orders with its suppliers. The report’s anonymous sources claim that some amount of production volume has been moved from the fourth quarter this year to the first quarter in 2012 due to weaker than expected demand and short supply of some key components. Read on for more.

When similar reports have surfaced in the past, pundits often speculated that Apple initially over-orders to ensure appropriate volume is available, then it cuts back on those orders to adjust for realistic sales estimates. It is unclear if this is the case with the iPhone 4S, presuming DigiTimes’ report is accurate.

Analysts have estimated that Apple could ship more than 40 million iPhones in the fourth quarter this year, thanks largely to strong demand for the iPhone 4S. If demand for the iPhone 4S is in fact not meeting expectations and orders have been lowered as a result, those astronomical estimates seems increasingly unlikely. Apple sold 16.24 iPhone smartphones in the fourth calendar quarter of 2010, and 17.07 million iPhones last quarter.

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