Qualcomm and Broadcom are the latest Apple suppliers to spell earnings gloom
Buried inside the latest earnings reports of Qualcomm, Broadcom, and other big Apple suppliers, lies yet another tangential evidence that Apple's Q1 forecast may be lower than analysts initially expected. Qualcomm, which is in a patent feud with Apple over breaking the exclusivity agreement for wireless modem supplies prematurely, mentioned in its earnings report that sales for a big "thin modem" client will be worse than usual, even counting seasonality factors for the January-March period.
That big modem customer is more than likely Apple, as the iPhones for Verizon and Sprint are still equipped with Qualcomm's X16 LTE modem, albeit in a neutered form to bring it on par with the Intel modems in GSM carrier iPhones. Broadcom, on the other hand, which supplies Apple with Bluetooth and other connectivity chips, reported that it expects "greater-than-seasonal decline in wireless," piling on the rumors that the iPhone X orders may have been cut below expectations.
A smaller supplier, Qorvo, missed analysts' sales estimates widely, and it derives 40% of its revenue from Apple. Where there is smoke, there is fire, and Apple's earnings release happens to be today, so we'll keep you updated if all that analysts and suppliers doom and gloom actually materializes in the Q1 iPhones forecast.