Samsung hit by ‘slow demand’ for iPhone X

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iPhone X
The iPhone X hasn't sold in the quantities many expected.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Samsung has joined the chorus of voices complaining about weak iPhone X sales, citing the “slow demand for flexible OLED panels” in its earnings report as one of the reasons for its performance in the past financial quarter.

Although the display making part of Samsung’s business experienced 3.4 percent increased sales over the three month period, this was less than the 20 percent growth of Samsung in its entirety.

Samsung is the exclusive manufacturer of flexible OLED displays for the iPhone X. Interestingly, the LCD screens used in other Apple devices, such as the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, are manufactured by LG Display, which also just reported a 32 percent decline in sales.

“Apple’s iPhone X shipments have actually been pretty bad, so everyone is looking to the next model cycle,” Sanjeev Rana, a technology analyst at CLSA, told Bloomberg.

Samsung’s not alone

Samsung is far from the only Apple supplier to be hit by weaker-than-expected demand for Apple’s pricey iPhone X.

When Apple slashed orders for the device, it affected companies ranging from Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) to AMS, a supplier which produces some of the components for Apple’s TrueDepth camera. According to TSMC, its foundry capacity has been “undermined significantly” due to a lack of new orders from Apple.

Nonetheless, Samsung is confident that things will pick up — although it’s likely to take until the 2018 next-gen iPhones for this to happen. “For the second half [of the year], OLED panels in the smartphone industry are expected to see a rebound in demand, especially as demand for flexible panels remains strong in the high-end segment,” Samsung noted in its report.

Apple is reportedly planning to release three iPhones later this year. This will include a 5.8-inch and 6.5-inch iPhone X models with high-end OLED displays, along with a 6.1-inch iPhone with an LCD display.

While Samsung is set to remain Apple’s OLED supplier, Apple has reportedly asked for a reduction in prices for new displays based on the double quantities it will be ordering.

Source: Bloomberg