Apple CEO downplays reports of iPhone component cuts

Apple's Tim Cook says reports that the company was cutting orders on iPhone displays are short-sighted -- but doesn't actually say they were wrong.

Apple's iPhone 5.
Apple's iPhone 5. Apple

After a week of silence, Apple has weighed in on reports that it cut orders on components for production of future iPhone. As in, it's not happy about them, but it's not about to confirm or deny them.

According to chief executive Tim Cook, the company's supply chain is "complicated," and so people shouldn't look too deeply into any one aspect of it to see the bigger picture.

"Even if a particular data point were factual, it would be impossible to interpret the data point for what it means to our overall business," Cook told analysts during the company's first quarter earnings conference call this afternoon. "There's an inordinate long list of things that would make any single data point not a great proxy for what's going on," he added.

A pair of stories earlier this month -- one from Japan's Nikkei and another later in the day from the Wall Street Journal -- claimed Apple cut its component orders for the iPhone by nearly half in December. The suggestion from both was that demand for Apple's iPhone 5 had declined, causing Apple to slow down on manufacturing orders for more devices.

Apple played up sales of the iPhone, which were the bright spot in a record quarter that still came in below what Wall Street was expectingin revenue and sales of iPads and Macs.

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