Japanese supplier to smartphone manufacturers Murata fears that phones such as the iPhone 14 are selling less and less. After lockdowns in China already took a big bite out of the demand for smartphones, more frugal American consumers could cause an even further drop in sales.
“When I look at the availability of smartphones in stores, I expect another downward revision,” said Murata president Norio Nakajima.
Nakajima did not mention Apple or the iPhone, but the American concern is an essential buyer of Murata electronic components. Based on insiders, the Press agency Bloomberg reported last month that Apple would reduce the production of the new iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus by millions.
There is a chance that the smartphone manufacturer will cut its production even further, says Nakajima. “I was shopping with my son for a new phone from our most important customer, and the store had every model in every colour in stock,” he says. “I wouldn’t be surprised if that customer lowers their forecasts even further.” He pointed to the United States as the market where that contraction would occur.
Murata lowered expectations for global smartphone sales a few times earlier this year. In April, the technology company still counted on almost 1.4 billion smartphones sold but adjusted that to just under 1.2 billion phones in October. Two weeks later, Murata assumed less than 1.1 billion phones were sold, partly because employee lockdowns and protests delayed Chinese manufacturers.