More Evidence Emerges of Soft iPhone Sales

More Evidence Emerges of Soft iPhone Sales

iPhone XR shipments diluted by Apple iPhone XS, 8 and 7, analyst predicts

Based on Lumentum forecast, analysts have deduced that there is an 18 to 20 million reduction in iPhone orders from Apple.

Shares in Lumentum fell almost 30 percent, dragging down shares of other suppliers and chipmakers.

The latest warning sign was Lumentum Holdings Inc. cutting its second-quarter outlook after one of its largest customers asked to "meaningfully reduce shipments" for previously placed orders.

A recent report noted that Apple's directive to suppliers translates to about 100,000 fewer iPhone XRs being made each day.

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"The legacy iPhone models forecast is likely to increase significantly thanks to more affordable prices; the total iPhone shipments in 1Q19 are likely to see a YoY decline", Kuo continued, citing Career and Nissha Printing as two suppliers that might be affected by Apple's cuts.

"Suppliers are more dependent on volume than Apple", said Woo Jin Ho, an analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence.

In the fourth quarter, Apple sold 46.9 million iPhones, missing analyst expectations of 47.5 million iPhones, according to FactSet. Apple itself has reported disappointing iPhone sales and projected holiday-quarter revenue below expectations.

If demand for newer, pricier iPhones wanes, Apple can cut component orders, or delay shipments, leaving suppliers with more inventory.

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Apple has been in a bit of a rough patch lately. Guggenheim's Robert Cihra removed his previous 12 month price forecast of $245, writing that, "unlike a year ago [we] do not see ASP (average selling price) increases providing enough offset, with our forecast that blended iPhone ASPs increase only +3%Y/Y, leaving iPhone revenues -2%Y/Y".

The analyst in his research note has also said that customers expect dual-cameras and a narrower bezel at this price point. Apple said it preferred to focus on the company's transition to a services company, with regular recurring revenue. Lumentum's chips are not used in phones older than last year's iPhone X.

More recently, Apple launched a new version of its operating system, iOS 12, that supports an unprecedented 28 of the company's devices, including models that went on sale in 2013.

On a call with investors, CEO Tim Cook said the firm had "very, very little data" on iPhone XR sales, in contrast to the iPhone XS and XS Max which he said were 'off to a really great start'.

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"Longer-lasting products could lead to higher customer satisfaction, potentially enable Apple to charge higher prices for its devices, and would help fulfill the company's environmental objectives", Toni Sacconaghi, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co., wrote Monday in a note to investors.

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