Sign up to receive 5 free days of our daily summary for tech news.

Read this article for free.

Already a subscriber? Log in here

Asia Apple

Think Being an Apple Supplier Is a Boon? Not so Fast.

As Apple goes, so go its suppliers—but worse.

Share prices for top companies that make parts for Apple products declined far more than Apple’s own stock did last year, dropping by an average of 23% from the year before when compared with only 5% for Apple shares, according to an analysis by The Information. The same analysis shows Apple has become increasingly reliant on Chinese companies for parts, at a time when it is delicately navigating a trade conflict between the U.S. and China.

Being a consumer-electronics supplier has always been a competitive industry in which the only financial salvation from low margins is high sales volume. Apple, though, has become an extraordinarily big and powerful buyer, especially of high-end components, able to demand much tougher terms than other smartphone companies, according to more than a dozen people close to Apple and its supplier relationships interviewed by The Information. 

What Is The Information?

Notes bb3aa5069205d702dda37fc71dc6f1c59df2310c4379304e9f1199f052af4884

Exclusive Articles

We broke it first. Receive original reporting you won't read anywhere else from the largest newsroom in tech.

Notebook b5103017ee163370a1667c9ce59ab0ef023875a17888105d26c185cadf31bb69

Daily news analysis

Every weeknight, we'll send you our reporters’ views on the day’s top tech news—distilled into one email.

Conference calls c9e664e8b96ee347d3e92b8309938f268422b9db98cfabca5c826fbb75054b23

Conference calls

Get access to our reporters and other top executives with monthly deep-dive calls into topics like startups and autonomous vehicles.

Events 499acedd16cffc41445edd76bfd302b2836c2a27419890f17130a6b10e2aa3df

Special Events

For no extra fee, get access to more than a dozen events yearly, from intimate dinners to larger gatherings with marquee speakers.

What else is included in my subscription?

Become a contributor

Share your views and find other subscribers by completing your profile. You’ll be listed in our contributor directory.

Slack community

Discuss topics and current events with our subscriber-only Slack group and share news about your company with other subscribers.

Annual Subscriber only benefits:

Org Charts

Access the only collection of tech company org charts. Our expanding database includes companies like Amazon, Snap, and Uber.

Crypto Newsletter

Our experts investigate the latest in the crypto world to keep you in-the-know about the movements of digital currencies.

Stay up to date on Silicon Valley

Sign up for Jessica Lessin’s (The Information’s CEO & Founder) free Saturday newsletter and also receive a complimentary week of our daily afternoon tech commentary email.

Already a subscriber? Log in here

Recent Articles

Startups Apple AI

Apple Acquires Machine Learning Startup in Boost for AI Group

By Aaron Tilley

Cybersecurity Facebook

Why Is Facebook’s Encrypted Messaging Plan Roiling the Company?

By Sarah Kuranda and Nick Wingfield

Entertainment

Why Roku Acquisition Could Make Sense for Disney or Walmart

By Tom Dotan

Entertainment

Apple May Offer Cut-Priced Bundles With Video Offering

By Jessica Toonkel and Tom Dotan

'Supplying Apple is kind of a like a drug,' said a former employee of an Apple supplier. 'Once you’re addicted, you can’t quit.'