For the second time in a matter of days, a report from Asia claims that Apple’s iPhone X is seriously hurting Samsung. It’s just not the way we thought back when the iPhone X launched.
Weaker-than-expected sales forced Apple to revise its iPhone X parts orders, these reports say. And Samsung, the only manufacturer of OLED screens good enough for Apple’s iPhone, is now forced to slash its OLED panel production.
In a follow-up story, Nikkei says that Samsung decided to cut OLED screen production in response to Apple’s decision to reduce iPhone X orders.
Samsung apparently plans to make 20 million iPhone X OLED screens at most during the March quarter. That’s a significant drop compared to the initial goal of 45 million to 50 million iPhone panels. This translates into a 60% overall drop in production for the plant, and a 50% drop for Apple-dedicated OLED production.
Samsung has not decided its production target for the June quarter, but the company envisions further cutbacks in the second quarter.
Samsung is looking to offset the iPhone X losses by selling OLED screens to Chinese and other customers. But the company is still expected to see a profit decline for the first half of the year, compared to 2017. Samsung invested $12.6 billion last year in anticipation of large OLED panel orders from Apple.
Analysts also expect Apple’s OLED orders to recover in the second half of the year. That’s when Apple’s 2018 iPhones are supposed to be unveiled and launched. Apple should launch three distinct iPhones this fall, with up to two models packing OLED screens.