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Apple and HTC may be locked in mortal patent combat, but they do agree on one thing: the world economy appears poised to slide into the crapper. Again.

The two dueling smartphone makers are among the handset vendors cutting back on chipset orders from Asian suppliers, according to sources speaking to the Taiwanese market watchers at DigiTimes.

Smartphone vendors, including Apple and HTC – the top Android-based smartphone vendor, with 35.9 per cent of that market, according to Nielsen – will hit their targets in the third quarter of this year, according to DigiTimes's sources, but the fourth quarter isn't looking quite as rosy.

At the end of 2010, HTC had projected that it would sell 50 million handsets in 2011. In the first quarter of this year, feeling bullish, it upped its projection to 70 million units. Now it has revised that projection downward to 50 to 60 million units.

Apple, sources say, is also cutting back. The Cupertinian reasoning, it appears, is simple: even the iPhone 5 – which today's rumeur du jour says will appear in early October – won't fly off the shelves in the event of Meltdown II, no matter how droolworthy it might be. ®

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