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26/03/2018

Falling output of iPhone X Broadcom expects chip shipments to decline in the quarter

According to foreign media reports, Broadcom, one of the top suppliers of Apple chips, expects that the company's chip shipments to Apple will drop significantly this quarter.

According to Broadcom’s quarterly financial report released on March 15, its wireless chip business grew significantly in the first quarter of fiscal 2018 (as of the end of January), with revenue increasing 88% year-on-year. In the first quarter, wireless communications revenue accounted for about 41% of total revenue. Most of Broadcom’s revenue comes from selling chips to Apple. TL-5186

Hock Tan, Broadcom's chief executive, said at the company’s recent fiscal quarterly earnings conference call that “Wireless revenue growth in the first quarter of fiscal year 2018 was the next-generation platform demand for a North American smartphone customer. Driven by growth." This customer is considered to be Apple.

However, Broadcom expects that its wireless chip sales will drop sharply from the same period last year.

Chen Fuyang stated that for the second quarter of fiscal year 2018 - as of the end of April, Broadcom expects that "the seasonal decline in wireless revenue will be far greater than usual because of the shipment of this North American smartphone customer to Broadcom. The volume will drop sharply compared to the first quarter." STP36NF06FP

The industry generally believes that this "North American smart phone customer" is Apple. Chen Fuyang believes that Broadcom’s wireless performance in the first quarter was “exaggerated” because the delayed launch of iPhone X squeezed chip sales into the quarter.

Broadcom said that the drop in shipments to Apple was partially offset by the increase in shipments to Samsung Electronics. The decrease in shipments to Apple indicates that the iPhone's output has decreased substantially, while the increase in shipments to Samsung Electronics is mainly due to the launch of Samsung Electronics' Galaxy S9 smartphone series.

Apple will significantly reduce the production of the iPhone X, and may also reduce the production of the iPhone 8 and the iPhone 8 Plus, both of which have the same chips as the iPhone X.

The unit price of Apple’s current flagship iPhone is substantially higher than that of the previous iPhone 7 series, so Broadcom expects its wireless revenue to grow at a double-digit year-on-year rate this quarter.