STMicro iPhone Sensor Delay: No Impact On Rest Of Supply Chain–Yet – Barron’s (blog)


STMicroelectronics (STM) fell on Thursday, following reports that delays in its production of a 3D sensor for the next Apple (AAPL) iPhone could push back the launch.

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Northland Capital argued that delays were to be expected, and the news was a buying opportunity. Today, Bluefin Research has a note out on the topic. Analyst John Donovan writes that while the rumors originated with DigiTimes, whose “track record is sketchy at best,” he felt the story sounded plausible and warranted more investigation.

Here’s what he found:

Our checks over the last 24 hours have uncovered that the STM fab in Crolles, France had a small fire in the basement of their clean room last week. This fab is the sole manufacturing facility for STM’s 3D sensors. This incident has currently shutdown the facility and our research indicates it could take several weeks to requalify the fab and resume production. Our understanding is that several AAPL employees are on site in Crolles presently. These 3D sensors have a long production cycle time and relatively low yield rates, which will make it difficult for STM to get back on their production schedule target with each day that the fab is incapacitated. Importantly, we have yet to see any corresponding push out of iPhone 8/X builds with the rest of the supply chain. We believe it’s likely that AAPL and STM are assessing the impact to the schedule and working on a recovery plan.

STMicro is rebounding today, up 0.5% to $15.29. Apple shares are is up 0.3%to $139.07.

Last week regular Tech Trader Daily blogger Tiernan Ray spoke with STMicro at the Mobile World Conference.

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