JPMorgan is now "negative" on iPhone assemblers including Hon Hai, citing fears that Apple is reducing orders, margin headwinds and the potential risk of supply chain disruption amid Chinese-US trade friction, analysts including Gokul Hariharan wrote in a November 11 note.
Shares of Qorvo fell 2.3 percent, while Apple was down almost 1 percent in early trading.
The early prediction was for 100 million units in four quarters (from Q4 2018 to Q3 2019).
Premium prices and average technology are coming back to haunt Apple and their suppliers who are now facing falling share values, closed production lines and a grim future if Apple iPhone sales don't pick up. And on Monday, Apple shares dropped after Lumentum - a supplier of "laser diodes for 3D sensing", such as those used by Apple's Face ID - cut its revenue forecast after "one of our largest Industrial and Consumer customers" significantly reduced orders.
Apple also stoked worries about iPhone sales earlier this month when it said that beginning this quarter, it will no longer break down unit sales for iPhones, iPads and Macs. This means that Apple reduced its component orders since then, and that the situation is worse than previously understood.
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Apple has lost $120 billion in market capitalisation since the last trading day of September, and many analysts are warning that the brief days of Apple being a trillion dollar company are over. Apple also provided lukewarm guidance for the all-important holiday quarter. While Kou now thinks Apple will sell fewer iPhone XRs, he believes some of those customers will opt for the higher-end iPhone XS models or the lower-end iPhone 8 model.
Early in the year, the company confirmed it had been intentionally throttling the speeds of some older phones to avoid battery-related problems. "The Apple investment paradigm is moving away from a focus on device sales toward a more predictable services-driven business".
However, the iPhone XR doesn't seem to be doing too well right now.
Apple CEO Tim Cook was directly asked about this possibility during Apple's most recent conference call.
"This year Apple well and truly is the stock market once again", Cinko writes, "and its price action lately has been stirring up troubling signs about what might be next for equities".
Apple was punting on this product to drive new sales.