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Morgan Stanley just threw cold water on Nikkei’s gloomy iPhone production report

Morgan Stanley just threw cold water on Nikkei’s gloomy iPhone production report
[Photo: NeONBRAND/Unsplash]

A Nikkei report last Friday said Apple plans to produce 20% fewer iPhones in the second half of this year, compared to second-half production levels of last year’s iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and X. But a new report from Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty may correct the record on the Nikkei’s assertions.

Huberty said numerous investors contacted Morgan Stanley about the Nikkei piece. “We believe the negative reaction to the Nikkei article, while understandable at face value, is overblown,” she wrote in today’s brief.

In her report released today, Huberty writes that Apple actually didn’t end up ordering the whole 100 million of the 2017 iPhones in the back half of last year, but rather only about 89 million. Secondly, Huberty says her own supply-chain checks suggest that Apple will order 90 million of its new line of phones in the second half of this year, versus the 80 million the Nikkei’s sources predict.

In short, where Nikkei’s story says 2018 second-half iPhone production will shrink 20% from last year, Huberty believes it will increase 1%. The analyst says that implies the strongest second-half production forecast for any new iPhone line since the production of the blockbuster iPhone 6 and 6 Plus back in 2014.

Apple is expected to announce a 5.8-inch OLED screen phone, a 6.1-inch OLED phone, and an enormous 6.5-inch LED screen iPhone at its fall event in September. New iPhone lines typically go into production in July.

Apple’s stock fell 1.4% after Nikkei’s story dropped last Friday, closing at $191.70. A week later the stock is trading at $188.72, as of 1:30 p.m. Eastern.

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