Apple is taking a few drastic steps to mitigate slower than expected sales of the iPhone XS, XS Max, and the cheaper XR, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The company is planning to discount the iPhone XR in Japan where the cheaper iPhone 8 remains popular.
Discounts would be offered via subsidies to Japanese operators, according to the Wall Street Journal's report. Carriers could be cutting the price from XR 84,800 yen, around $750, next week, though it's not known by how much.
Apple has also restarted production of the last year's iPhone X, reportedly to meet a minimum purchase agreement with Samsung, which makes the iPhone X's OLED displays.
The supposed rationale for resuming iPhone X production is that it's cheaper to make than the iPhone XS and XS Max and therefore a more cost-effective way to fulfill the required volume.
Apple stopped selling the iPhone X as soon as it released the iPhone XS on September 21, and released the cheaper iPhone XR one month later.
The moves follow reports that iPhone component makers Qorvo, Lumentum and Japan Display had cut quarterly profit estimates because a large, unnamed customer had reduced existing orders.
Apple earlier this month said September quarter iPhone sales hadn't met analyst estimates and warned that the typically bumper December quarter would be lackluster.
The company also announced that as of the December quarter it would no longer report unit sales of the iPhone, iPad and Mac because the figures weren't representative of its business performance and didn't account for the spread of prices in each product line.
In the case of the iPhone, prices range between $449 and $1,449. Apple also insisted that sales of top-end iPhones were "very strong" in the September quarter.
Apple's fourth quarter iPhone sales of 46 million units were flat year over year, but iPhone revenues jumped 29 percent.
It's not clear where it would sell the iPhone X if it brings it back. As MacRumors notes, Apple has previously reintroduced discontinued models in select regional markets.
Previous and related coverage
It seems that Apple is having a hard time forecasting what the demand for new iPhones will be, and is being forced to slash production orders as a result.
Analysts, pundits, and Wall Street types have all become obsessed with iPhone unit sales, tying Apple's quarterly health to this single metric, that the Cupertino giant has decided to bring it to an end. And shareholders are far from happy about it.
Apple's gamble that offering more expensive iPhones would result in increased revenue without having to increase sales continues to pay off.
Services revenue reached an all-time high of $10 billion; however, iPhone sales were flat year-over-year and Q1 outlook remains cautious
Apple was widely applauded for becoming the first American company to break the trillion dollar barrier. However, its value has slumped to $839bn for a variety of reasons, though other technology stocks have also suffered in a stock market reversal.
How Apple failed business pros with the iPhone XS TechRepublic
The new line of iPhones are an upgrade, but lack several key features that could make them a better choice for enterprise users than the Samsung Galaxy Note 9.
Apple iPhone XR CNET review
The iPhone XR is the best iPhone for the price, delivering most of the advantages of the iPhone XS for hundreds less.