Amid reports that Apple has opted to cut iPhone X production for the current quarter, Nikkei Asian Review reports that Apple’s decision has left Samsung scrambling to find new customers for its OLED panels. While a scale-back in iPhone production is normal as Apple transitions from the busy holiday quarter to the relatively uneventful March quarter, there are rumblings that underwhelming demand for the iPhone X has led to more drastic reduction in production than anticipated.
In the build-up to the iPhone X launch, many analysts anticipated that the device would usher in a super-cycle of upgrades. In turn, Samsung ramped up its OLED production to meet what was expected to be staggering demand. With things playing out a bit differently, Samsung — for the time being — now finds itself stuck with an abundance of OLED panels with no buyers capable of picking up the slack.
Compounding matters, Nikkei adds that Samsung is also facing increased competition on the OLED front from rival manufacturers.
The report reads in part:
To make matters worse, Chinese OLED panel makers are expanding production capacity, heating up the price competition even more.
“Samsung is increasingly selling OLED panels to outside clients,” said an official at an electronics trading company in Tokyo. Production of the iPhone X, whose sales have been sluggish, is expected to drop by half in the first three months of this year from the initial estimate of over 40 million units.
Looking ahead, the super-cycle that analysts were anticipating with the arrival of the iPhone X may still be on the horizon. Rumor has it that Apple’s 2018 iPhone lineup will consist of three new devices: a revamped iPhone X, a 6.5-inch iPhone X Plus, and a 6.1-inch iPhone X variant with an LCD display. The 6.1-inch iPhone will be especially compelling amid rumors that it will be priced somewhere in the $700 range, thus offering users the iPhone X experience at a much more affordable price point.