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Apple has ordered its hardware makers to scale back on iPhone 5c manufacturing, leading analysts to believe the colourful phone isn't selling as well as expected.

The 5c, a colourful and lower-priced iPhone made its debut back in September but quickly faced criticism for only being $100 cheaper than its much classier 5s sibling, and for not offering any new or innovative features apart from flashy new colours.

The Wall Street Journal is now reporting Apple has told its Taiwanese suppliers Pegatron and Foxconn to cut production of the 5C, citing 'people familiar with the matter.'

Apple repotedly told Pegatron, which supplies around two thirds of the phones, that orders would have less than 20% cut while t it told Foxconn Co., which is in charge of the rest, that its orders would be slashed by a third.

The newspaper also reported that another supplier was told that orders on 5c parts would be halved, meaning Apple could be pegging the iPhone 5c as a niche model going forward.

A survey by the research firm Localytics and originally reported by the Sydney Morning Herald said the more expensive iPhone 5s was outselling the 5c in the US market by a margin of more than three to one, and by a five-to-one margin in Japan. In Australia the research showed the 5s outselling the 5c by an eleven-to-one margin.

One store manager told the newspaper he received hundreds of the 5c and that 95% of them remained in stock.

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David Swan

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David Swan is a tech journalist from Melbourne and is iTWire's Associate Editor. Having started off as a games reviewer at the tender age of 14, he now has a degree in Journalism from RMIT (with Honours) and owns basically every gadget under the sun. You can email him at david.swan@itwire.com or follow him at twitter.com/mrdavidswan

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