Nikkei: Apple raises iPhone 11 production by about 10%

Customers test the new iPhone 11 during the opening of Mexico’s first flagship Apple store in Mexico City, Mexico in this September 27, 2019 file photo. (Reuters)
Updated 04 October 2019

Nikkei: Apple raises iPhone 11 production by about 10%

  • The recent surge in iPhone orders is concentrated in the cheapest iPhone 11 model and the iPhone 11 Pro model
  • Apple launched its three new iPhone models in September and reduced the starting price of the model upgrade

Apple has asked suppliers to increase production of its iPhone 11 models by up to 8 million units, or about 10 percent, Nikkei Asian Review reported on Friday, citing better than expected demand.
“Previously, Apple was quite conservative about placing orders,” which were less than for last year’s new iPhone, said the Nikkei quoting a source.
“After the increase, prepared production volume for the iPhone 11 series will be higher compared to last year.”
Sources cited by Nikkei said that the recent surge in iPhone orders is concentrated in the cheapest iPhone 11 model and the iPhone 11 Pro model, while Apple has slightly revised down orders for its top range model, the iPhone 11 Pro Max, which has a starting price of $1,099.
The newspaper also reported that suppliers remain cautious and said they were concerned that the higher level of orders would not be sustained.
“Demand is good for now. But we have to be careful not to be too optimistic,” an executive-level source said in the report. “I hope that this year’s peak season lasts longer than last year.”
Apple did not respond to a Reuters request for comment outside regular US business hours.
The company launched its three new iPhone models in September and reduced the starting price of the model upgrade, despite better cameras, to $699, compared to $749 for last year’s iPhone XR.


US trade offensive takes out WTO as global arbiter

Updated 10 December 2019

US trade offensive takes out WTO as global arbiter

  • Two years after starting to block appointments, the US will finally paralyze the WTO’s Appellate Body
  • Two of three members of Appellate Body exit and leave it unable to issue rulings

BRUSSELS: US disruption of the global economic order reaches a major milestone on Tuesday as the World Trade Organization (WTO) loses its ability to intervene in trade wars, threatening the future of the Geneva-based body.
Two years after starting to block appointments, the United States will finally paralyze the WTO’s Appellate Body, which acts as the supreme court for international trade, as two of three members exit and leave it unable to issue rulings.
Major trade disputes, including the US conflict with China and metal tariffs imposed by US President Donald Trump, will not be resolved by the global trade arbiter.
Stephen Vaughn, who served as general counsel to the US Trade Representative during Trump’s first two years, said many disputes would be settled in future by negotiations.
Critics say this means a return to a post-war period of inconsistent settlements, problems the WTO’s creation in 1995 was designed to fix.
The EU ambassador to the WTO told counterparts in Geneva on Monday the Appellate Body’s paralysis risked creating a system of economic relations based on power rather than rules.
The crippling of dispute settlement comes as the WTO also struggles in its other major role of opening markets.
The WTO club of 164 has not produced any international accord since abandoning “Doha Round” negotiations in 2015.
Trade-restrictive measures among the G20 group of largest economies are at historic highs, compounded by Trump’s “America First” agenda and the trade war with China.
Phil Hogan, the European Union’s new trade commissioner, said on Friday the WTO was no longer fit for purpose and in dire need of reforms going beyond just fixing the appeals mechanism.
For developed countries, in particular, the WTO’s rules must change to take account of state-controlled enterprises.
In 2017, Japan brought together the United States and the European Union in a joint bid to set new global rules on state subsidies and forced technology transfers.
The US is also pushing to limit the ability of WTO members to grant themselves developing status, which for example gives them longer to implement WTO agreements.
Such “developing countries” include Singapore and Israel, but China is the clear focus.
US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told Reuters last week the United States wanted to end concessions given to then struggling economies that were no longer appropriate.
“We’ve been spoiling countries for a very, very long time, so naturally they’re pushing back as we try to change things,” he said.
The trouble with WTO reform is that changes require consensus to pass. That includes Chinese backing.
Beijing has published its own reform proposals with a string of grievances against US actions. Reform should resolve crucial issues threatening the WTO’s existence, while preserving the interests of developing countries.
Many observers believe the WTO faces a pivotal moment in mid-2020 when its trade ministers gather in a drive to push through a multinational deal — on cutting fishing subsidies.
“It’s not the WTO that will save the fish. It’s the fish that are going to save the WTO,” said one ambassador.