Apple’s suppliers were hit by an early morning sell-off on the back of rumours that the tech giant is starting to get cold feet ahead of its iPhone X launch in November.
A widely circulated report originally published on news site Digitimes said Apple has told suppliers to slow down delivery of iPhone X components to just 40 per cent of the amount originally planned.
The rumours sparked concerns that demand for the iPhone X has been weak since it was announced, with many investors seeing the news as further evidence that Apple has well and truly lost its hold over the smartphone market.
Despite Apple refusing to comment, shares in its Asian suppliers crashed overnight, and this spread to UK markets when they opened, hitting its British partners.
Cold feet: Apple has reportedly told suppliers to slow down delivery of iPhone X components to just 40 per cent of the amount originally planned
Welsh tech wizards IQE, a supplier of semiconductor wafers for the 3D technology used in the new iPhones, fell by as much as 12 per cent in morning trading before nerves recovered and they finished down 0.8 per cent, or 1p, at 119.25p.
Likewise Renishaw, whose tools are used by manufacturers of vital components in Apple products, fell 1.2 per cent, or 55p, to 4601p, while Laird, which makes performance parts for the iPhone, fell 1.9 per cent, or 2.75p, to 144p.
Shares in many Apple suppliers fell the day after the iPhone 8 and iPhone X were announced earlier this month.
The falls stemmed from concerns that the iPhone 8 featured a lack of innovation and the iPhone X would be too expensive, with prices starting at £999 in the UK.
STOCK WATCH – VICTORIA OIL AND GAS
Victoria Oil & Gas enjoyed a lift after it began producing gas that’s ready for sale at one of its wells in Cameroon.
The well’s content, which needs minimal processing, far exceeded management expectations after it began flowing on September 22.
Chief executive Ahmet Dik said the discovery is a strong indicator of the presence of gas for sale at its other wells in the area.
Shares rose by as much as 14 per cent before finally closing up 10.2 per cent, or 6.5p, at 70p.
Many also pointed out that there were very few people queuing outside shops to buy the iPhone 8 when it was released last week, compared to the swathes of fans that used to wait for iPhones when they launched.
Michael van Dulken, head of research at Accendo Markets, said: ‘Apple had previously suggested a delayed launch due to shipping delays.
‘However, yesterday’s speculation would imply a lack of demand, which is a whole other story. Perhaps the iPhone 8 isn’t flying off the shelves as quickly as hoped. Might demand for the more affordable iPhone 8 sap demand for the flagship £999 version?
‘A staggered launch may also have reduced excitement along with little in the way of ground-breaking new tech. Are they trying to manufacture demand for the X by holding back supply?’
Stockbroker Cenkos Securities rocketed to its highest level since May after overcoming regulatory hurdles and Brexit uncertainty in the first half of the year to report a 156pc like-for-like jump in profits.
Cenkos raked in £4.2million profit while revenues rose 91 per cent to £29.2million. Its interim dividend per share increased by a whopping 350 per cent to 4.5p.
The firm said it was lifted by an improvement in demand for fundraisers by companies, bringing in nearly £1billion for clients over the six-month period. In particular, the company was boosted by the £389million IPO of haulage firm Eddie Stobart in April, which it brokered.
However, a clampdown on the way brokers charge for their services led the firm to report that research and commission revenues fell 15 per cent to £4.4million.
It also remains wary of volatility in markets because of Brexit. Shares rose 11.6 per cent, or 12p, to 115.5p.
The FTSE 100 fell 0.2 per cent, or 15.55 points, to 7285.74, as a morning rally among oil companies and miners lost ground over the day’s trading as the price of the black stuff fell from multi-year peaks and copper declined in value.
Shares in Zinc Media, the TV producer set up by Boomtown Rats frontman Bob Geldof, remained flat at 0.92p despite a return to profit in the year ended June 30, boosted by shows such as Channel 5’s Bargain-Loving Brits In The Sun.
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