It's being reported today in China that Taiwan-based Apple casing supplier Catcher Technology has reported better-than-expected July sales that analysts believe is directly linked to the initial shipments of components for the iPhone 6. In fact, Catcher's management said the results were driven by growth in the smartphone segment.
The market had expected Catcher's sales for the month to post a double-digit decline, but instead they were up 0.3% from June and up 36.8% from the same month of last year. Catcher reported on Tuesday sales of US$154.6 million in July, the second highest monthly sales in the company's history.
Jeff Pu, a Taipei-based analyst at Yuanta Securities, wrote in a research note Tuesday the "We believe the smartphone strength was driven by earlier than expected iPhone 6 ramp up, largely offsetting weakness seen in other smartphones such as the Sony Xperia Z2 and HTC M8. This also suggests that Catcher remains on track to accelerate its iPhone 6 shipments from July.
For the July-September quarter of 2014, Pu expected Catcher's sales to grow by 7% sequentially based on some contribution from the iPhone 6, weakening orders from HTC and Sony, and stable demand for Apple's MacBook laptop lines.
The analyst anticipated that Catcher would continue to gain iPhone share because of rival Jabil Circuit's low yield rate, which should drive strong sales growth for Catcher in the fourth quarter of 2014 and the first quarter of 2015.
Pu also believed that Catcher will benefit from more than just the new 4.7-inch iPhone 6 in 2015, as his checks suggested that casing orders for the second-generation 5.5-inch iPhone 6 will not be dominated by the Hon Hai Group next year.
Catcher currently supplies casings for the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 model, while Hon Hai subsidiary Foxconn Technology supplies casings for the larger 5.5-inch iPhone 6 model, according to industry observers.
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