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WSJ: Apple cuts iPhone 5 component orders in half due to weak demand

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Apple reportedly sent word to suppliers in December that it would be reducing parts orders for the recently released iPhone 5 on "weaker-than-expected" demand, with some orders being cut in half from original expectations.  

Sources familiar with the matter told The Wall Street Journal that Apple cut "roughly half" of its orders for the iPhone 5's 4-inch screen and initiated a drawdown on other components orders for the January to March quarter. 

It is unclear what exactly is to blame for the reduction but ongoing rumors point to the possible introduction of a cheaper model to the iPhone line sometime in 2013. 

The WSJ report is joined by a corresponding article from the Nikkei (via Brightwire), which claims the revised Apple orders have prompted Japanese LCD makers to look for business elsewhere. Apple is sourcing the 4-inch Retina displays used in the iPhone 5 from Japanese manufacturers Japan Display and Sharp, as well as South Korea's LG Display.

Supply of the iPhone 5 finally caught up to demand in mid-December when a number of international Online Apple Stores listed the smartphone as being in stock for the first time since its launch at the end of September.