Apple 'cuts iPhone 5 parts orders'

iPhone 5Apple shares have fallen in pre-market trading in the United States after The Wall Street Journal reported that the company has cut its orders for iPhone 5 components due to weaker than expected demand.

The newspaper said two sources told it that Apple's first-quarter orders for iPhone 5 screens have dropped to about half of what the company had planned.

The report said one of the people told the newspaper that the US-based company has also cut orders for other components. The Journal said it was told Apple notified the suppliers of the order cut last month.

Apple did not immediately return an email seeking comment before business hours on Monday.
The move is a sign that sales of the new iPhone have not been as strong as previously expected and demand may be waning.

It comes as the company has been facing increased competition from Samsung and other makers of smartphones that run Google's Android operating system.

South Korea's Samsung, which sells Android-based models at various price points, has already overtaken Apple as the world's largest smartphone vendor by market share.

Android devices accounted for 75% of smartphone shipments during the three months ending in September, up from 58% at the same time in 2011, according to the research firm IDC. The iPhone's share stood at 15% in September, up from 14% in the previous year.

Google says more than 500 million Android devices have been activated since the software's release four years ago. By comparison, Apple had sold about 271 million iPhones through until last September.

Apple shares dropped 17.45 dollars, or 3.4%, to 502.85 dollars in pre-market trading on Monday.
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