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Thursday, January 24, 2008, 05:00 am PT (08:00 am ET)

Report: Apple reduces iPhone orders for second quarter

Slow European sales have caused Apple to reduce its iPhone shipment expectations for the second fiscal quarter ending March by as much as 50 percent, according to published report.

Citing sources at the Cupertino-based company's component suppliers, the Chinese-language Economic Daily News said second-quarter iPhone shipments have been cut from 2 million units to about 1.0 - 1.2 million.

Slow sales of the touch-screen handset in Europe are to blame for the move, the Daily News said, without providing any further details.

During last week's Macworld Expo, Apple chief executive Steve Jobs reported overall sales of more than 4 million iPhones to date, adding that the company is sustaining a daily sales rate of about 20,000 units.

At that rate, Apple should be on track to report sales of approximately 1.8 million units for the March quarter, which runs contrary to the claims by the Daily News .

Additionally, it should be noted that Apple often seeks to operate under a dual supplier strategy, where, for instance, it would source the iPhone's touch-screen component from not one but two distinct suppliers.

Therefore, reports out of individual component suppliers may not be representative of the company's overall plans and targets.