Apple asked its suppliers late last month to produce fewer than planned units of its XS, XS Max and XR models, the Nikkei reported.
The request was made before Apple announced its forecast cut. The bleaker sales outlook, which Apple attributed to weak China demand, triggered a broad sell-off in global stock markets.
Market research firm Canalys estimates shipments fell 12 percent in China last year and expects smartphone shipments in 2019 to dip another three percent, to below 400 million for the first time since 2014.
Overall planned production volume of both old and new iPhones is likely to be cut to a range of 40 million to 43 million units for January-March, from an earlier projection of 47 million to 48 million units, the Nikkei reported, citing one source familiar with the situation.
Apple’s iPhone suppliers include Taiwanese assemblers Foxconn and Pegatron who are not moving to confirm the reports.
As Chinese demand has faltered, Apple has increased focus on India, which recently overtook the United States as the world’s second-largest smartphone market. Of course the fact that Indians generally have even less money than the Chinese does not appear to have entered Apple's planning. It seems that it expects Indians to pay four years' worth of salary for a phone.
Chief Executive Tim Cook reiterated in an interview with CNBC on Tuesday that India was a major focus for Apple.
Reuters reported last month that Apple will begin assembling its top-end iPhones in India through the local unit of Foxconn this year, citing a person familiar with the matter.