Touch panel manufacturer Wintek announced on Tuesday that its June sales were down an unusually high 33.6 percent month over month. This may be an indication that the company may have missed out on orders for Apple’s next-generation products, mainly a new iPhone that is rumored to use in-cell touch panel technology.
Over the last seven years, Wintek’s June sales have, on average, increased 1 percent month over month, according to Brian White, analyst with Topeka Capital Markets. The 33.6 percent drop seen by Wintek in June is the largest month-over-month sales drop he’s seen since late 2008.
White says he doesn’t believe slower sales at Wintek is a sign that sales of Apple’s devices are slowing, rather the sudden plunge could be an indication that Wintek lost out on supplying screens for Apple’s next-gen products.
There has been other indications that Wintek could be losing ground as an Apple supplier. Some reports earlier this year claimed Apple plans to adopt thinner in-touch panels for its next iPhone.
AppleInsider: “The companies rumored to provide in-cell touch panels to Apple are Sharp and Toshiba Mobile, while an additional report in May also named Sony as a potential supplier. Current iPhone and iPad models use glass-on-glass touch solutions provided by Wintek and TPK Holdings, and Wintek does not offer in-cell technology.”
White estimates that Wintek has been generating more than 50 percent of its total sales from Apple. The company is believed to have provided a significant share of touch panels for both the iPhone and iPad.
“Clearly, Apple has many next generation products on the horizon,” White wrote in a note to investors, “and the company may be adjusting its suppliers.”