Apple Concerns? Production Said to Slow as Demand Tapers Ahead of iPhone 5S Release Date

**Editor’s Note:

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Has the iPhone finally lost its edge?

You could argue that it happened a couple of years ago when Android smartphones collectively started to outsell the iPhone, or perhaps last month when Samsung phones began outselling the iPhone 5 for the first time. Yet Apple’s iconic device has always had a buzz around it.

Now comes word, however, that Apple will slash production of its famous smartphone by 20 percent in the second half of 2013, due to slowing growth. So says analyst Brian Blair of Wedge Partners this week in an investor note, according to The Telegraph. So it’s not just the iPhone included in Blair’s forecast; the iPhone 5S will most likely debut in September.

The problem is that most industry insiders aren’t expecting anything flashy and new on the next-generation iPhone beyond a faster processor, an improved camera and Apple’s already announced iOS 7 operating system. At the pace of innovation these days, that might not be enough for the new iPhone to sell as well as previous models. That being said, many didn’t think the 4S whose primary upgrade from the year before was Siri, the voice-activated personal assistant would be a big seller, and it simply went out and broke all kinds of records.

Blair expects Apple will produce between 90 million and 100 million handsets in 2G 2013, quite a drop from previous estimates of 115-120 million.

Follow senior online managing editor @Craig_Galbraith on Twitter.

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