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Few corporate supply chains are scrutinized quite like Apple's. As the technology outsourced more of its production to tiers of Asian suppliers, a new profession has emerged in a supply chain analyst, where as industry analysts of the past previous scoured quarterly earnings, they now delve deep into the opaque world of supply chains.
However, the once untraceable web of privately owned China-based enterprises is beginning to grow more transparent. Analysts has taken advantage of recent legal changes in Taiwanese corporate law, which mandates large firms to produce monthly earning reports.
Bloomberg finds that, using such data, Apple’s supply chain has lost its mojo. That is, its major suppliers are beginning to see their margins fray. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, Apple’s exclusive processor and Hon Hai Precision Industry Company, its assembler, both have seen their profits fall in recent months as bottlenecks emerge in Apple’s supplies.
To explain these issues, a consensus seems to have settled upon the decision to switch to organic light emitting diode screens (OLED). Unlike its rival Samsung, Apple came to OLED relatively late. This decision to opt for OLED for the new iPhone X placed an already lean supply chain under additional strain.
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