iPhone X Is Dead, Says Analyst, While LG Faces OLED Display Manufacturing Issues

Apple lost over $60 billion (roughly Rs. 3,97,480 crores) in market cap in two days after Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC), Apple’s biggest supplier, said in an earnings update that second-quarter revenues would be hit by “weak demand from the mobile sector”. Separately, Apple supplier LG Display is said to have been affected by manufacturing issues for OLED displays meant for upcoming iPhones, while an analyst claimed the iPhone X was dead.

Apple shares fell nearly 7 percent on Thursday and Friday over reports of a sharper slowdown in smartphone sales this year, Financial Times reported late on Friday, terming the market sentiment as ‘iPhone fears’. The drop was said to be worst since Apple reported a drop in iPhone sales back in February.

Not just Apple, the news led to several global chipmakers losing market values, including Analogue Devices, Dialog Semiconductor, Qualcomm, and Qorvo.

For the first time since 2009, smartphone sales in China fell last year while global sales fell in the fourth quarter of 2017 for the first time since 2004.

In another setback for the iPhone maker, its efforts to get LG Display’s OLED screens for future iPhone production line “have hit manufacturing issues”, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.

Apple is reportedly divided on whether LG will be able to succeed as Samsung’s replacement for OLED displays.

The Cupertino-based company currently uses Samsung’s OLED displays for iPhone X.

The LCD panels which are currently being used in the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus are supplied by LG. The Apple Watch screen is made by LG Display.

There are reports that Apple is designing and producing its own device screens, secretly at a facility near its headquarters in California.

It is believed that Apple will switch to OLED displays for all of its iPhone releasing in 2019.

Finally, as per a report by CNBC, Mirbaud Securities analyst Neil Campling said that TSMC’s record inventory levels are thanks to Apple not buying components for future iPhone X models, indicating the company would kill off the model this year after the introduction of new models in the iPhone X lineup. He said that while older stock of the iPhone X will continue to be sold, no new units will be produced by the company.

“With the declines in iPhone X orders and the inventory issue at TSMC at record highs, which basically reflect a need to burn off inventory. Why? Because the iPhone X is dead,” Campling wrote in his note.

“The simple problem with [iPhone] X is that it is too expensive,” Campling told CNBC, adding, “Consumers are turning their backs on high-priced smartphones.” Mirbaud Securities has tracked TSMC inventory data for over a decade.

Campling’s prediction echoes that made by KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who said back in January that the iPhone X would “go to end of life around mid-2018.” Its total shipments would be about 62 million units, significantly lower than previous estimates of about 80 million units.