iPhone manufacturers are hurting from uncertainty about future plans

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iPhone X Product Red Wallpaper
What does Apple's next-gen iPhone have in store?
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple is reportedly dropping Touch ID altogether this year in favor of Face ID for its next-gen iPhones. However, Apple is still keeping its suppliers in the dark about plans, a new report suggests.

Shares in AMS, a supplier which produces some of the components for Apple’s TrueDepth camera, have fallen 9.1 percent as a result. That’s its biggest decline in two years. And other suppliers are hurting, too.

“Due to … product transitions and product changes in a major consumer program preventing pre-production of parts, AMS also expects a significant under-utilization of capacity,” AMS said.

While it didn’t name names, Apple reportedly brings in half of AMS’s revenue. AMS has said that it expects the order shortfall to reverse in the second half of 2018, once Apple finalizes its plans for the next-gen iPhones and places its orders. It is, however, confident that Apple will remain a customer.

Shares of Dialog Semiconductor, which supplies the iPhone’s power management chips, has also fallen 5.4 percent. Finally, STMicro, another Apple sensor chip supplier, fell by up to 4 percent, before slightly recovering.

Uncertainty about the future

While this time of year can often be filled with uncertainty for suppliers, this year it seems that things are a bit more uncertain than ever.

“The imminent end of life for iPhone X is leading to a deeper trough than the most cautious of estimates,” Barclays analyst Andrew Gardiner wrote in a research note to clients.

Apple is currently reported to be around 2 years ahead of its Android rivals when it comes to 3D sensing tech. A recent report suggests that this is because Apple has bought up so much of the 3D sensing component capacity from manufacturers that Android OEMs simply cannot get their hands on the necessary parts.

This year’s iPhone refresh will reportedly include a 5.8-inch iPhone X, a 6.5-inch iPhone X and a 6.1-inch iPhone. Only the first two of these will include an OLED display, while the 6.1-inch model will reportedly feature an LCD display.

Source: Reuters