Fewer orders could signal first iPhone sales decline

TAIPEI: Some of Apple’s main Asian suppliers expect revenues and orders to drop this quarter, indicating iPhone sales are almost certain to post their first annual decline since the flagship product was launched almost a decade ago. The forecasts of lackluster sales by companies including Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC), the world’s biggest contract chipmaker, and smartphone camera lens producer Largan Precision add to concerns about Apple’s outlook amid slowing global demand for smartphones. Industry executives say the latest iPhone did not have enough new features from the previous model to tempt users, raising fears that Apple’s innovative streak - and the profits it has generated - may be running its course. Apple, which reports December-quarter results on January 19, declined to comment on its sales outlook.