Sounds Like It’s Samsung’s Flexible OLED Phones Whose Sales Are Weak

Last week Bloomberg reported:

Samsung Electronics Co. is the latest Apple Inc. supplier to offer a sign of weaker iPhone X sales, saying that it’s seeing slow demand for the screens used in the flagship product.

The South Korean electronics manufacturer said in an earnings report today that profits for its display business “were affected by slow demand for flexible OLED panels.” The division’s sales rose 3.4 percent in the latest quarter, compared with 20 percent for Samsung as a whole.

Flexible OLED panels are the screens used inside the iPhone X, and those are supplied exclusively by Samsung. Other component makers for Apple, which reports quarterly earnings results next week, have also issued gloomy outlooks pointing to lackluster demand for the top-end phone.

Regarding this report, I wrote:

Starting to sound like iPhone X sales really are falling short of expectations. You often can’t judge iPhone sales from the perspective of a component maker, because Apple could have switched to another company for the same component. But these flexible OLED displays only come from Samsung. Apple reports earnings for the first calendar quarter on Tuesday.

Since we now know iPhone X sales remained strong in the March quarter — outselling every other iPhone model every week of the quarter, according to Tim Cook — and that Apple hit its revenue forecast square on the nose, it must mean Samsung’s “slow demand for flexible OLED panels” wasn’t due to the iPhone X. Which probably means it was Samsung’s own high-end phones.

Not sure what I was thinking when I gave so much credence to Bloomberg’s take on Samsung’s remarks. Poor iPhone X sales would’ve only been a firm conclusion from the above statement if the iPhone X were the only phone using Samsung’s flexible OLED panels.

Tuesday, 1 May 2018