The Apple Suppliers That Benefit From Its Latest Devices

September 13, 2018

By Michael Teich

There are three winners not named Apple that are poised to benefit from the new lineup of iPhones ー suppliers Qorvo, Skyworks, and Synaptics.

That's according to John Vinh, equity research analyst at KeyBanc Capital Markets.

"One of the biggest selling phones coming out of the launch is going to be the lower cost iPhone XR. It sells at a $250 discount to the XS," he said Thursday in an interview on Cheddar.

Synaptics, which makes things like touchscreens for those cheaper models, stands to benefit, according to Vinh.

Skyworks, meanwhile, makes power-amplifier chips for the phones. Mizuho Securities estimates it gets 35 to 40 percent of its sales from Apple. Like Qorvo, its products will help the more expensive iPhone XS and XS Max transmit data at higher speeds.

And while Apple's share of the smartphone market has been declining, some data suggests this could be a good holiday quarter for the company.

Vinh tracks carriers' inventory of older model iPhones, which he says have "historically...been a great leading indicator of future demand trends."

Inventories are currently near all-time lows, which suggests consumers looking for a new phone will likely buy the newest models.

But there are risks ー the ever-looming possibility that Apple could bring operations in-house. News last year that the company was planning to develop its own graphics chips famously sent shares of partner Imagination Technologies plunging 60 percent in one day. The British supplier eventually sold itself to a private equity firm last October.

Vinh, though, thinks these companies are less vulnerable.

"Apple brings supply in house if they think they have the ability to do it better and to deliver better value to the consumer."

Apple unveiled three new iPhones at its annual fall keynote event on Wednesday. The premium iPhone XS Max starts at $1,099 while the "bargain" option, the XR sports a $750 price tag for the base version.

For full interview click here.