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In contrast, the iPhone XR's $750 starting price made it seem a relative bargain.

Slower-than-expected demand has reportedly led Apple to direct its top phone assemblers, Foxconn and Pegatron, to halt a planned production boost for iPhone XR, a relatively cost-effective model that hit the shelves late last month.

Broadly speaking, the original report regarding a drop in iPhone production illustrates why Apple understandably wants to keep iPhone sales close to its chest. Apple has also asked smaller iPhone assembler Wistron to be on standby for rush orders.

On Tuesday, shares in other Taiwan-based Apple suppliers fell sharply as well.

Apple's Asian suppliers tanked after a bruising day of trading after a negative report about the iPhone XR sent Apple tumbling.

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Interestingly, while on one hand the company is facing sluggish demand for its newly launched iPhone XR, the company is requesting its manufacturers for more units of its year-old iPhones- iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus. iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus suppliers are getting a combined order of 5 million more units raising the figure to a total of 25 million units. At Rs 76,900, the iPhone XR is still on the expensive side, and maybe some cashback, EMI and buyback offers could help Apple sell significant number of units.

The $749 model is Apple's budget iPhone, and at a few hundred dollars cheaper than the flagship XS and XS Max was meant to stir consumer interest among more cost-conscious buyers. "The utilization for the XR production is not reaching its maximum capacity now", Nikkei's source stated. Now its primary customer has advised it does not require more.

Maybe iPhone sales decline over time, or maybe Cupertino has something to hide.

The end of reporting on unit sales comes as Apple has been seeing little growth in units in its iPhone business.

Apple's iPhone XR, which boasts the iPhone X's edge-to-edge display, albeit using older LCD pixels instead of the X's high-resolution OLED screen, was widely expected to fuel a massive wave of upgrades from users of the iPhone 6S or earlier models.