Apple Suppliers Fall After Forecast for Slowing IPhone Sales

  • Alps Electronic, Taiyo Yuden and Murata lead declines
  • Apple's sales fall for first time in more than a decade

Apple Sales Suffer on Fewer iPhones for Less Money

Apple Inc.’s suppliers’ shares fell in Asia on Wednesday after the iPhone maker posted its first quarterly revenue drop in more than a decade and forecast another decline in the current period.

Shares of Taiyo Yuden Co. slumped as much as 5.1 percent in early trade, while those of Alps Electric Co. and Murata Manufacturing Co. fell 5 percent and 5.2 percent respectively -- all of them make the basic electronic parts that go into smartphones. The Nikkei 255 Stock Average was little changed.

Apple’s Chief Financial Officer Luca Maestri said demand for the company’s flagship product has ebbed following the debut of the larger-screen iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, which led customers to upgrade more quickly. The Cupertino, California-based company is not alone in experiencing a slowdown. Sony Corp. last week booked a preliminary impairment charge for the business that makes smartphone camera modules, citing “a decrease in projected future demand.”

“The sales drop forecasted by Apple for the April-June period is greater than expected,” said Nobuyuki Fujimoto, a senior market analyst at SBI Securities Co. “The shares of Japanese electronic-component makers are down by association.”

Global Slowdown

Global smartphone sales growth will probably slow to 7 percent in 2016, Gartner forecast in March. While users in mature markets are holding on to their handsets longer, potential buyers in Asia may delay upgrading theirs until the functionality and pricing of low-cost devices improves and makes them more desirable, the researcher said.

Alps Electric makes actuators and switches for smartphones, while Murata’s products range from capacitors to USB components. Taiyo Yuden manufactures antenna chips and semiconductors that control power supply.

Taiwan’s Catcher Technology Co., which makes metal housings for smartphones, declined as much as 4.9 percent in Taipei. Component makers Largan Precision Co. and Zhen Ding Technology Holdings Ltd. fell 3.1 percent and 2.7 percent, respectively, while assembler Pegatron Corp. was down 2.3 percent.

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