UPDATE [Wednesday, November 9 at 12:10am ET] The article has been updated with an analyst quote in the fourth paragraph.
Asian trade publication DigiTimes known for its notoriously mixed track record, reported Wednesday, citing a Commercial Times report, that Apple is asking parts suppliers to delay a portion of their shipments for the fourth quarter of 2011 to the first quarter of 2012. The report blames the decision on the shortages in the supply chain and, interestingly, lower-than-expected pre-sales of iPhone 4S:
Apple is likely to adjust downward its shipments of iPhones and iPads from related suppliers by 10-15% in the fourth quarter. […] Some international IC players have also indicated that their revenues are likely to slide by 10-15% in the fourth quarter due to the shipment adjustments for iPhone 4S.
The affected suppliers are said to include cases and camera lens makers as well as ODM assemblers. It is also possible that Apple was simply forced to delay some of the shipments because other suppliers couldn’t fulfill their orders fully in time.
However, UBS analyst Maynard Um says the Commercial Times report of order cutbacks is wrong. His checks with suppliers confirm that the “iPhone 4S is still selling out and experiencing 1-2 week waits for online orders with demand also driven by accelerated carrier/country launches”. He also noted most suppliers projected strong fourth quarter shipments.
Even though some supplier of parts used in Apple’s mobile devices did report October revenues lower compared to those in September, iPhone 4S broke all previous records as Apple sold four million pre-orders during the launch weekend, more than double the iPhone launch. Pre-orders in Hong Kong sold out in ten minutes of going on sale and Deutsche Bank pegged daily stock-outs at Apple Stores at a whopping 85 percent.
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