The 'iPhone 7' effect: Android makers reportedly slow down chip orders ahead of Apple's launch

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With the next-generation iPhone expected to launch in just a few months, a new supply chain report claims that Android device makers are trimming their chip orders, apparently hoping to avoid direct competition with Apple's latest model.

Integrated circuit orders from Android handset makers have slowed down as chip inventories have piled up, according to supply chain sources who spoke with DigiTimes. In particular, lower-cost China-based handset makers are said to be slashing orders.

Cited as a key reason: Apple's "iPhone 7." Thursday's report indicated that Android handset makers "intend to avoid clashing head-on" with Apple's next handset, which is expected to debut by late September.

It should be noted that DigiTimes has an unreliable track record in predicting Apple's future product plans, but its supply chain sources do frequently share key overall trends and insights into the world of components and assembly for portable electronics.

It was said that Chinese Android phone vendors have cut orders for some models that have under-sold, while "several other Android vendors" have taken a "wait-and-see attitude" regarding new chip purchases.

New iPhone launches are typically the most heavily hyped event in the smartphone industry, as Apple's flagship handsets have proven to be the most popular individual models for years. It's expected that this year's so-called "iPhone 7" will ship in September with a thinner design and lacking a 3.5-millimeter headphone port, instead opting to provide audio out through the Lightning port.