Another Apple supplier is implying that the iPhone may have lower-than-expected sales in the current quarter.
According to market research firm Stifel, Apple supplier Jabil Circuit has lowered its guidance for its current quarter, which ends in February 2016. According to the note, Jabil’s revenue forecast implies a 23% sequential decline in its Diversified Manufacturing Services segment, the unit that’s largely responsible for making the iPhone’s casings. The report estimates that Apple accounts for roughly 60% of Jabil’s DMS segment revenue, making Apple the unit’s largest customer.
The 23% sequential decline is worse than the 12% sequential decline Jabil’s DMS business saw during the same period last year, but is much better than the 33% drop that came in the February 2014 quarter.
The report added that Jabil didn’t specifically mention Apple or iPhone during the call. But it did note that the company said the decline was “all about seasonality that is a little bit steeper than normal.”
This is the fourth time this week that we’re seeing a Wall Street analyst hint at a decline in iPhone sales for the upcoming quarters. On Monday, Morgan Stanley predicted a 6% drop in sales for fiscal year 2016, while two more firms gave weaker forecasts based on lowered guidance from one of Apple’s main power management chip suppliers.
Sales of the iPhone have increased every year since its release in 2007. If these predictions turn out to be true, it would mark the first time worldwide iPhone sales decline on an annual basis.
Apple CEO Tim Cook addressed concerns of slower iPhone sales during his last earnings call. He cited high conversion rates from Android users to the iPhone and strong potential in emerging markets, as well as China, as reasons for why he’s not concerned about it.
Apple’s next earnings report will be released in late January.
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