The manufacturer will curtail output of the iPhone 14 Plus amid slowing demand, a market researcher says © Getty Images / NurPhoto / Contributor

US tech giant Apple will cut back the assembly of the recently launched iPhone 14 Plus to counter softness in smartphone sales, market researcher TrendForce reported on Tuesday. The company will reportedly focus instead on high-end models.

According to the report, the manufacturer will increase output of the more expensive iPhone 14 Pro, the share of which has increased to 60% of total output from the initially planned 50%. It could reportedly further rise to 65% in the future.

The researcher indicated that Apple’s Pro and Pro Max premium tier devices have been strong sellers at a time when a global chip crisis is unfolding, helping the company push margins higher.

It also warned that rising US interest rates could crimp consumer spending, undermining demand for iPhones in the first quarter of 2023. This could reportedly lead to a 14% year-on-year drop in production to 52 million units.

Data by research firm Canalys shows that Apple was the only vendor in the top five to register growth in shipments in the third quarter. The company has improved its share of the global smartphone market to 18% from 15% a year ago despite the shrinking market.

Last month, Apple said it would manufacture the iPhone 14 in India, as it moves some of its production out of China to mitigate the risks arising from the growing tensions between Washington and Beijing.

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