Apple Inc is cutting production of the iPhone 14 Plus within weeks of starting shipments as it re-evaluates demand for the mid-range model, the Information reported on Tuesday, citing two people involved in the company's supply chain.

The Cupertino, California-based company told at least one manufacturer in China to immediately halt production of iPhone 14 Plus components, according to the report.

The move comes at a time when the global smartphone market has been softening, shrinking 9 per cent in the third quarter compared with the same period a year earlier, according to estimates from data research firm Canalys, which expects weak demand over the next six to nine months.

Apple did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

The iPhone 14 Plus, part of a new line-up announced on September 7, is positioned as a cheaper alternative to its more expensive iPhone Pro models and started being shipped to customers on October 7.

Last month, Apple dropped its plan to increase production of the new iPhone models as an anticipated surge in demand failed to materialise, according to a Bloomberg News report.

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