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iPHONE 5c FACTORY SHUTDOWN: Foxconn 'halts' mobe rebrand op

New claim: Colorful plastic gear spurned for bling-ified iPhone 5s

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Taiwanese electronics manufacturer Foxconn is shutting down production of the iPhone 5c in one of its factories in order to shift production to the higher-end iPhone 5s, sources claim.

The supply-chain sleuths at DigiTimes say Foxconn is planning to cease production of Apple's plastic, multicolored mobe at its facility in Zhengzhou, China, and concentrate instead on building the higher-end iPhone 5s.

The move comes not long after Cupertino ramped down manufacture of the iPhone 5c, reportedly due to weak demand for the less-expensive handset.

Currently, Foxconn is believed to be responsible for about 30 per cent of all iPhone 5c orders, with the majority being handled by Taiwanese competitor Pegatron.

Those orders are considerably slimmer than Apple expected, however. In October, the fruity firm cut its iPhone 5c order from Pegatron by a third and told Foxconn to slow down production by 20 per cent.

Meanwhile, customers have been gobbling up the iPhone 5s by the bucketload, with fanbois worldwide preferring the higher-end model to the iPhone 5c by a ratio of more than two to one. Sales of the 5c have been strongest in the US, but even customers in Apple's home market favor the top-of-the-line model.

According to the analysts at DisplaySearch, that imbalanced demand has caused Apple to increase production of the iPhone 5s by as much as 75 per cent, even as it has decreased orders of the 5s's plasticky cousin.

Foxconn declined to comment on its plans and Apple said it does not comment on suppliers. ®

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