The surge in component orders for the iPhone X over the last couple of months appears to be coming to an end, based on information coming out of the upstream supply chain. Component shipments for the iPhone X weakened in November, according to sources on Friday, following strong demand in September and October.
With demand for key component not growing as strong as expected, the sources are concerned that Apple may reduce its iPhone X shipment target for the first quarter of 2018. The sources pointed out that Apple's component orders for the iPhone X in November were around 30% lower than its earlier forecast.
The weakened component demand reflects improved yield rates for iPhone X production, which saw Apple's global shipping estimates continue to improve in November, dropping from between 3 and 4 weeks, to 1 and 2 weeks. In the United States and in Europe, iPhone X models ordered today arrive in around a week.
Apple suppliers such as Largan Precision and Catcher Technology have seen revenues slow or begin to decline month on month, respectively. Touch panel supplier General Interface Solution (GIS), which originally expected its sales momentum to continue into 2018, also suffered a sequential decline in November revenues.
Sources expect iPhone X shipments in January and February to be similar as that seen in November 2017, before declining sharply in March. Overall, shipments are expected to be down by around 30 percent sequentially in the first quarter of 2018 because of seasonality and fewer working days caused by the Lunar New Year holidays.
At the same time, DigiTimes' sources believe Apple's iPhone shipments in the first quarter of 2018 may still be better than those recorded in the same period of 2017.