Taiwanese chip supplier Advanced Semiconductor Engineering said Apple is more conservative in its orders than a year ago.

The comments were made by Tien Wu, COO of the Taiwanese firm, which is a leading chip assembly and testing player. Apple is its largest client.

His comments were reported by Nikkei and support the view that Apple has seen softening iPhone orders because of comparatively weak iPhone 6s and 6s Plus sales.

In April, Apple reported a sharp drop in quarterly iPhone sales following a bumper quarter for the company in 2015.

Sales in the iPhone unit dropped 18 per cent to $32.86 billion, off the back of a 16 per cent drop in unit volumes to 51.19 million.

Tim Cook said that last year it saw an acceleration in iPhone upgrades (leading to a 40 per cent increase in shipments), making this year’s comparison a tough one for the company.

The rate of iPhone 6s upgrades is “slightly higher” than for the iPhone 5s two years ago, but lower than for the iPhone 6, which drove strong growth for Apple.

iPhone average selling prices have also dropped, to $642 from $659, due to weak international currencies and “very popular mid-tier and entry offerings” (the even lower cost iPhone SE launched after the end of the quarter).