by: Shanthi Rexaline, Benzinga Staff Writer
The din surrounding the unveiling of the Apple Inc. AAPL's 10-year anniversary phone has settled down. Yet, there has been a continuous news flow on the iPhone X.
During its Asia tour visiting handset, networking and PC supply chain players, Raymond James dropped a bombshell regarding the itinerary for the iPhone X release.
At time of writing, shares of Apple were down 1.60 percent at $153.58.
Analyst Chris Caso said his checks pointed to incremental delay in the build plans, with orders firming up as recently as last week. Therefore, the analyst feels production will be shifted more into the December quarter.
As of now, preorders for the iPhone X are set to begin Oct. 27, with shipping expected to commence Nov. 3.
While cautioning that the checks are ongoing, Caso said initial feedback from its meetings indicated that final production of the iPhone X is expected to begin only in mid-October. The analyst clarified that this production schedule is about a month later than expectations a month ago and about two months later than expectations at the end of June.
Meanwhile, Raymond James said Chinese smartphone sales have rebounded in the second-half, although off a soft first-half. The firm added that the strength was led by OPPO, Samsung Electronic SSNLF and Huawei.
On the distribution channel, the firm said component distribution channels remained healthy, with suppliers seeing improving end-market conditions continuing through September. However, the firm noted that companies are wary of supply shortages in the December quarter on the back of holiday season demand. The firm also noted rising memory costs.
The firm sounded less optimistic about the upcoming 5G investment cycle, as it believes it would be a muted opportunity for suppliers as compared to the 4G build out.
"We're hearing carriers have yet to determine the value proposition of 5G, and with 4G coverage largely complete, the investment ramp is expected to be gradual, spread out over an extended period of time," the firm said.
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