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Apple: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- It's no secret that Apple's (AAPL) new iPhone models - the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c, are popular, judging by first weekend sales. It's still up for serious debate, however, which of the two is more popular, going by industry reports.

Citing people familiar with the situation, The Wall Street Journal reports Apple has notified two of its production assemblers, Pegatron and Hon Hai Precision, that it is reducing orders for the iPhone 5c for the fourth quarter, as questions come into play about weak demand for the phone. At the same time, however, Apple is raising production orders from Hon Hai for the iPhone 5s, due to the popularity of the device.

Pegatron was reportedly told to cut orders by up to 20% for the iPhone 5c, while Hon Hai was told to cut orders by up to one third, The Journal noted. Additionally, one component supplier was notified of a 50% cut in iPhone 5c orders.

Apple could not be reached for comment on this story.

This isn't the first time we've heard rumors of an Apple cut to the iPhone 5c. Retailers such as Wal-Mart (WMT) and Target (TGT) have cut the price of the 5c, with Wal-Mart going as low as $45 for the 5c. Target has it for $49.99 on its Web site, though it's unclear whether it's Apple or the retailers themselves who are taking the profit squeeze on the iPhone 5c.

Taking a look at Apple's Web site, the iPhone 5s is still back ordered. All models of the champagne gold, space gray and silver models have an availability date of 2 to 3 weeks. Conversely, the iPhone 5c is ready to ship within 24 hours.

Apple's supply chain is extremely complex, and CEO Tim Cook has said in the past that it's good to question any rumor around the tech giant's build plans. Speaking on Apple's fiscal first-quarter earnings call, Cook addressed the chatter that constantly swirls around the iPhone maker. "I suggest it's good to question the accuracy of any kind of rumor about build plans. Even if a particular data point were factual, it would be impossible to interpret that data point as to what it meant to our business. The supply chain is very complex and we have multiple sources for things. Yields can vary, supplier performance can vary. There is an inordinate long list of things that can make any single data point not a great proxy for what is going on."

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