Foxconn, the world's largest contract electronics manufacturer and the leading iPhone XR assembler, is apparently using "only around 45 production lines" of a prepared total of 60 to manufacture its share of Apple-requested units.
"Combined with the continued strong momentum we're seeing among its iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, these sales have contributed to a 5.0 percentage point increase in OS share for Apple in the U.S. - the biggest gain seen worldwide this quarter. iPhone 8 was the top selling model in the USA over the quarter, with a 9.4% share of the handset market, and with iPhone XR launching outside this period we'd expect Apple share to tick up further towards the end of the year".
"This performance management feature is specific to iPhone and does not apply to any other Apple products". As a result, Foxconn will build 100,000 fewer units every single day than would have happened under Apple's original order. At Foxconn, only 45 production lines of the planned 60 are now being used.
The iPhone XR - priced starting at $749 - is meant to replace the iPhone 8 introduced a year ago.
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It's too early to tell if the iPhone XR will have a similar fate as the iPhone 5C. These phones are about 20 percent less expensive than the iPhone XR. Instead, insiders in the supply chain claim, there'll be no need for its iPhone XR manufacturing capacity to meet Apple's holiday season forecasts. "The moves to add orders for year-old iPhone models while suspending extra production for the latest product illustrates Apple's lack of innovation and inability to energize consumers with such a pricing strategy". During that call, Apple also - for the first time ever - neglected to give iPhone sales numbers for the quarter.
Apple announced it has taken $62.9bn (£48.2bn) in revenue for Q4 2018, an increase of 20 per cent ($52.5m) year-on-year.
This, combined with the rapid rise of China-based handset makers like Huawei, may also help explain why Apple will no longer provide iPhone unit sales figures: The firm is no longer the number two player in the smartphone market and may fall to number four or five in the coming year by unit sales.