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In brief: It seems the iPhone 14 Plus isn't proving as popular as Cupertino had hoped. Following earlier reports that demand for the larger version of the non-Pro handset was low, we're now hearing that Apple has instructed two suppliers to lower production by 90%, less than two weeks after the phone debuted.
According to The Information, citing supply chain sources, Apple has instructed at least one manufacturer in China to immediately stop production of iPhone 14 Plus components while the US company's procurement team reevaluates demand.
The publication also reports that two downstream Apple suppliers in China that rely on the parts and assemble them into larger modules are also cutting their production by 70% to 90%. These suppliers are said to be the only ones that make the specific module for iPhones.
Apple's decision has reportedly impacted Pegatron, its iPhone assembly partner. The China Times writes that the company announced a new recruitment drive on October 12, but it reversed this decision three days later, announcing the suspension of the recruitment notice in the wake of Apple cutting iPhone 14 Plus production.
Apple only launched the iPhone 14 Plus on October 7, less than two weeks ago, while the iPhone 14 was released on September 16. There were previous reports that Apple had instructed iPhone 14 suppliers to cut production by as many as six million units in the second half of 2022. iPhone 14 sales over the first three days of availability were down 11% in China compared to its predecessor a year earlier, partly due to the country's current economic woes. There have also been reports of Foxconn cutting production of the iPhone 14/Plus in favor of the Pro models.
Despite many of today's consumers being fans of phones with larger screens, it seems paying at least $899 for a 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Plus when they could get an iPhone 14 Pro for $100 more---or a 14 Pro Max for an extra $200---is too big an ask. However, all the reports stress that Apple will still release an iPhone 15 Plus next year.