Why iPhone X "weak demand" hits Samsung more than Apple


Samsung Electronics sharply reduced its OLED display production.

Still, many stock analysts see the business' earnings starting to grow in the July-December half, as they believe orders from Apple will recover by then. The revised OLED panel production plan would reduce the output to roughly 60% of the original plan.

Samsung Display now plans to manufacture organic light-emitting diode panels for 20 million or fewer iPhones at the South Chungcheong site in the January-March quarter.

Despite being huge rivals in the smartphone market, Apple often turns to Samsung for manufacturing duties.

It's unclear how this short-term production decision tallies with ongoing reports about Apple's 2018 iPhone range.

One way to cope with the surplus is for Samsung to use the panels in its own products - whether the company will be able to repurpose the displays for its own phones is another story, especially as it's now developing its first foldable phone. It means we could see more mid-range Android smartphones with OLED screens in the near future. That's expected to form the entry-point into Apple's 2018 iPhone range as the cheapest model.

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Evidence is mounting that the iPhone X is a bust. One reports arrive says that Apple is slashing orders. Earlier reports had indicated that, rather than continue to rely exclusively on Samsung Display for OLED supplies, the Cupertino firm was looking to hedge its bets and source panels from multiple providers.

According to reports back in mid-2017, indeed, Apple was investing in LG Display's OLED production to bring the technology up to speed for its needs.

Of course, "weak demand" for iPhone X doesn't necessarily translate to disappointment within Apple.

Reuters reports that Samsung shares have fallen as much as 2.3% on the news, adding that shares of companies making OLED components also fell. The rise of ASP (average sale price) to more than make up for disappointing volume appears to be helping out significantly.

Samsung isn't the only Apple OLED display provider to be hit by falling shares either.