Why Did Apple Cut iPhone 5 Parts Orders? Three Theories.

1) iPhone sales are soft. 2) Yields improved. 3) Apple is clearing the way for a new model

At least five analysts lowered their Apple (AAPL) price targets in the past few days based on reports that the company reduced some iPhone supply chain orders for early 2013: UBS’ Steve Milunovich (to $700 from $775), Citi’s Glen Yeung ($575 from $675), Canaccord’s T. Michael Walkley ($750 from $800), Mizuho’s Abbey Lamba ($600 from $750) and Pacific Crest’s Andy Hargreaves ($565 from $645).

All five seem to be operating on the assumption that Apple cut its orders because the company is selling fewer iPhone 5s than expected — a theory undercut somewhat by the only two things Apple has said about iPhone 5 sales: That they broke records in September, when the device was first released, and last weekend, when it launched in China.

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