Apple’s hard-to-meet high standards and its low price expectations have earned it the nickname “Poison Apple” with Asian suppliers, who say they are feeling the affects of decreasing demand of the iPhone. Several have told Reuters that they are trying to reduce their reliance on Apple amid increasing competition from companies like Samsung.
Suppliers have enjoyed lots of success off the back of Apple’s iPhone sales, with each device selling better than the last. Phil Schiller said during a courtroom battle with Samsung last August that we should assume Apple’s latest iPhone will always sell more than all previous versions combined.
But it’s unclear how long that can continue. “Apple appears to be losing a once vice-like grip on its supply chain and Wall Street,” Reuters reports. “Suppliers and investors are struggling to gauge demand for the iconic smartphone as Samsung and up-and-coming rivals grab market share.”
Now suppliers are trying to reduce their reliance on Apple, and they’ve jokingly nicknamed the company “Poison Apple” due to its “ever-moving deadlines” and hard demands.
“‘Apple can do no wrong’ can only work until Apple does wrong,” said Roger Kay, president of researcher and consultancy Endpoint Technologies Associates. “It’s like the rubber band effect. The more you stretch it, the more snap you get coming back.”
Speculation surrounding decreasing demand for the iPhone and a supposed decline in innovation following the death of Steve Jobs 18 months ago has caused Apple’s stock price to plummet. Last week, it fell below $400 for the first time since December 2011.
On Tuesday, the company will announce its financial results for the second quarter of 2013, and analysts are expecting an 8% increase in revenue signaling its weakest growth in years.
Suppliers expect Apple’s new iPhone 5S to enter mass production in June. The device will reportedly offer fingerprint sensor technology, as well as a faster processor and improved cameras. However, one source told Reuters that the handset’s release date may have slipped as Apple seeks out a new coating materiel that won’t interfere with the fingerprint technology.
Apple is also expected to launch a low-cost iPhone this year that could help it claw back some of the market share lost to Samsung. Aimed at budget-conscious consumers and emerging markets, the device is expected to offer a plastic casing, and the same 4-inch display as the iPhone 5.