In the face of flagging sales, Apple has reportedly cut back production of its iPhones by 10% for the first three months of 2019 to refocus its efforts on healthcare, according to a report by Nikkei.
The Japanese publication claimed that a source told them the original plan to produce 47–48 million iPhones has been revised to around 40–43 million.
Despite 2018 being the year it became the first publicly-traded trillion-dollar company, it was a year filled with rocky patches for Apple. It was knocked from its top spot as the most valuable company in the world – a title it had held for eight years– by both Microsoft and Amazon, its stock expectations were slashed repeatedly and it found itself a pawn in the middle of the US-China trade war.
The new year has not started off any better either, with Apple's quarterly revenue slashed from $93bn to $84bn in the first week of 2019. This led analysts from Bank of America Merrill Lynch to claim that flagging sales may be due to Apple facing an "informal boycott" in China, where its sales have slowed down the most significantly following the political unrest.
There have also been several reports claiming the new iPhone has flopped, however, when interviewed by CNBC recently, Apple CEO Tim Cook fought back at the claims, saying that the iPhone XR released in 2018 is the most popular iPhone.
"I call bologna on that," Cook said. "Do I want to sell more? Of course, I'd like to sell more. And we're working on that."
Despite issues with its flagship product, Apple is making some serious forays into the digital healthcare market. In 2018, it unveiled its Apple Watch Series 4 with several health-tracking features and announced a partnership with medical equipment manufacturer Zimmer Biomet to help people recovering from knee and hip replacements. It was also revealed that Apple has hired as many as 50 doctors to work across its various teams to develop and integrate health features into Apple products.
In an interview with TIME, Cook claimed: "Apple's largest contribution to mankind will be in improving people's health and well-being."