That rare step exposed weakening demand in China for Apple's iPhones amid a slowing economy, which has also been buffeted by a bruising trade war with the United States.
Many analysts and consumers have said the new iPhones are overpriced.
Apple asked its suppliers late last month to produce fewer-than-planned models of the XS, XS Max and XR, Nikkei said, citing sources with knowledge of the request. https://s.nikkei.com/2TEJ02G
The request was made before Apple cut its forecast last week, Nikkei said. The surprise warning triggered a broad sell-off in global stock markets.
Overall planned production volume of both old and new iPhones is expected to be cut to about 40 million to 43 million units for the January-March quarter, from an earlier projection of 47 million to 48 million units, Nikkei reported citing one source familiar with the situation.
Apple did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.