Apple’s Asian Suppliers Paint a Gloomy Picture of iPhone Sales


While Apple CEO Tim Cook was “thrilled to report” Apple’s biggest quarter ever in terms of both revenue and earnings on his last earnings call, sources inside Apple’s Asian supply chain seem to paint a much gloomier picture. While the iPhone maker is doing well financially, thanks to the $1,000 iPhone X, it is actually selling fewer phones than before (via Business Insider).

Iphone sales

According to Longbow Research analysts Shawn Harrison and Gausia Chowdhury, Apple’s suppliers believe the current trend of flat or declining iPhone sales is likely to continue for much of the rest of the year. “The iPhone X didn’t sell well during the holiday season,” one told the Longbow team. “We didn’t get as many 1Q orders as previously anticipated”. 

Some of the suppliers said that the advantage of the extra money Apple was earning from the high-priced iPhone X would soon disappear. “The ASPs were high during 4Q because of the X, but ASPs will decrease during the March quarter”. Below are a few comments from some of Apple’s supply companies.

  • “The iPhone 8 actually did better, we saw some improvement during the March quarter.”
  • “iPhone production looks like it will be flat during the March quarter. It’s not only Apple, Chinese OEMs are seeing the same.”
  • “We think there might be some improvement year over year for the June quarter, but it’s too early to tell.”
  • “We think total iPhone shipments for 2018 will be flat compared to last year.”
  • “For FY18, it could be low-single-digit growth.”
  • “The new models launched in September or October won’t pick up the entire year immediately.”

The analysts lowered their iPhone sales estimates to 219.4 million devices, up 1%, for fiscal Q2 with expectations of 6% growth.


  • Bill___A

    I have an iPhone 7 Plus 256 g. It works for Wifi calling and VoLTE. I am not very interested in going to an iPhone X for two reasons….I don’t particularly care for face id. And I definitely am not interested in that “notch” at the top of the screen. I would far rather have a little bit smaller screen real estate than a “notch”. Is there any other technical device that has a screen with a notch in it, other than an iPhone X copycat device? I think not. I can’t imagine a laptop with a notch or a TV with a notch. The obsession with a “full screen” created the notch situation.
    So no, I”m not about to buy a new iPhone. Not until they get things sorted. That means getting the notch out of there. And I quite like the fingerprint authentication…and I also want to see what’s going on with batteries, apparently in the upcoming iOS 11.3

    From the carrier side, I would like to see VoLTE work when I am roaming and not just when I am on “home carrier towers”.

  • Aleks Oniszczak

    I think the problem with the notch is that Apple is looking at it as a glass-half-empty negative thing when they could have looked at it as a glass-half-full positive “pair of horns.”

    Think about it: If they had thought of it as “horns”, they could have ADDED information up there such as weather info or Facebook notification or whatever. Keeping the status bar they way it has always been just below the horns would have made it consistent with every other iPhone so that battery percentage etc. would still have been displayed.

    And there’s no reason to stretch a video into the horn area. Then you’d still be able to see the whole video – plus some extra metadata in the horns.

    In other words, there is nothing intrinsically bad about the iPhone X screen if you think of the upper part as an ADDITION. Treating it as a notch is destructive and unnecessary – the screen is plenty tall as it is.

    I think Tim Cook got it all wrong when Steve jobs told him the iPhone screens should always be top notch 😉

  • Olivier

    very good point.

  • Bill___A

    Well put.