Suppliers in Taiwan say that handset vendors, including Apple, have scaled down their orders for the fourth quarter because of concerns for the global economy.

According to Digitimes, sources in the iPhone supply chain of iPhone claim that Apple has scaled down orders for handset parts and components.

Fears of an economic slowdown and concerns about the debt crisis in Europe, were amplified after credit rating agency Standard & Poor's announcement, in early September, that it had downgraded its rating on US debt, citing political paralysis over how to reduce the US deficit.

The fourth quarter of the year (roughly equivalent to Apple's first quarter) is generally the best quarter for Apple since it includes the Christmas shopping period. (Apple's fourth quarter ends around September 25, 2011). Apple will announce the fourth quarter results and make predictions for it's first quarter of 2012 around mid October.

Another reason for Apple's apparent decrease in part orders could be winding down of orders for iPhone 4 parts and ramping up of orders for iPhone 5 components.