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Suppliers and Demand: What Cirrus, Hon Hai Tell Us About Apple

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Tim Cook, chief executive officer of Apple Inc., left, visits the iPhone production line at the Foxconn Technology Group facility in Zhengzhou, Henan Province on March 28, 2012. Photographer: Bowen Liu/Apple Inc. via Bloomberg

Talk about having all your apples in one basket.

Of the 247 or so global suppliers to Apple, Cirrus Logic tops the list in dependency. The maker of audio chips got 91 percent of its sales from the Silicon Valley giant last quarter, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Meanwhile, Taiwan's Casetek Holdings and Hon Hai Precision Industry derived almost half of their revenues from Apple.

That's been a winning strategy during Apple's growth surge of the past decade. But as growth slows, as my colleague Adam Satariano reports , companies that have hitched themselves to the Apple wagon have had a bumpy ride.

Cirrus pre-announced an inventory glut this week that could indicate sluggish iPhone sales. Meanwhile, Hon Hai posted its biggest revenue drop in more than a decade on April 10. Rough.

Still, not all suppliers are feeling the pain.

Chipmaker Dialog Semiconductor, which gets 37 percent of its revenues from Apple, beat earnings expectations last quarter. And shares of contract manufacturer Pegatron, which gets 33 percent of its sales from Apple, are up 17 percent in the past three months.

But they may be prospering by simply taking away share from other Apple suppliers. After all, Apple is still growing, just not as quickly.

If you ask Pacific Crest Securities LLC analyst Andy Hargreaves, Cirrus's announcement could be due to Apple's decision to use a chip from a different supplier, or to go with a cheaper version of Cirrus's chip in a future product. He recently completed a monthly survey of large phone companies around the world and found no evidence of a sudden slowdown in iPhone sales.

Still, analysts are predicting an 18 percent drop in net income for Apple's second quarter -- the first decline in about a decade.

The guessing games should end on Tuesday when Apple reports earnings.

This story was first published in Bloomberg's Global Tech Today newsletter. To get an early jump on the most important tech news from around the world, sign up for the free weekday report .

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