Is iPhone love affair over?: Sales are in decline for the first time, suppliers hint

The world is falling out of love with the iPhone, it seems. Some of Apple’s main Asian suppliers say the tech giant is seeing a slump in sales. They expect revenues and orders to drop this quarter, indicating iPhone sales are almost certain to post their first annual decline since the flagship product was launched almost a decade ago. The lacklustre sales forecasts by companies including Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing, the world’s biggest contract chipmaker, and smartphone camera lens producer Largan Precision add to concerns about Apple’s outlook amid slowing global demand for smartphones.

Visibility is only a month at a time and demand is quite weak.

Largan Precision chief executive Adam Lin

Industry executives say the latest iPhone did not have enough new features from the previous model to tempt users, raising fears that Apple’s innovative streak - and the profits it has generated - may be running its course. Apple, which reports December-quarter results on Tuesday, declined to comment on its sales outlook. Largan called demand weak while TSMC said it expected an 11% dive in revenue , the sharpest fall in seven years. Other suppliers said Apple now only gave them orders one month in advance, instead of the usual three months. "We have to be very flexible in terms of capacity,“ said one executive.

The pace of innovation has slowed. Apple is going toward the same direction as other brand names.

One Taiwanese Apple supplier