Apple Inc. (AAPL) - Get Report has boosted its iPhone 11 production rates by around 10%, Japan's Nikkei Business Daily reported Friday, amid stronger-than-expected demand for the latest suite of flagship smartphones from the tech giant.
The Nikkei said the boost, which amounts to around 8 million extra units, was largely influenced by better reception for the lower-priced iPhone 11 models, and that Apple has revised its order assumption for the higher-priced iPhone 11 Pro Max, which lists at $1,099 each, lower as a result.
The Nikkei report followed comments earlier this week from Apple CEO Tim Cook, who told Germany's widely-read Bild newspaper that he "couldn't be happier" with the early performance of the flagship iPhones. Analysts at JPMorgan also reiterated their "overweight" rating on the stock this week, and lifted its iPhone shipment volume forecast to around 44 million for the three months ending in December, and rising to 63 million in the following quarter.
Apple's European suppliers traded firmly higher following the Nikkei report, with Austria's AMS AG (AMSSY) , which earns around a third of its revenues from chip sales to Apple, marked 3% to the upside in Zurich at CHF45.18, while Milan-listed STMicroelectronics NV (STM) - Get Report added 2.3% to trade at €17.74. Infineon Technologies AG (IFNNY) , Europe's biggest chipmaker, topped the DAX performance index with a 1.68% gain. German-listed Dialog Semiconductor was marked 2.5% higher at €42.79
Apple shares were marked 2.1% higher Friday to change hands at $225.38 each, a move that would extend the stock's year-to-date gain to around 42% and give it a market value of just over $1 trillion.
Apple unveiled its new suite of iPhones earlier this month, with product experts focused on the phones' new camera technology and longer batter life while financial analysts on the smartphone's aggressive pricing in U.S. dollars, which was discounted to previous roll-outs, and the impact it would have on the group's overall profit margins.
Apple's gross margins have been narrowing for the past few quarters, falling 700 basis points from the same period last year to 37.6% over the group's fiscal third quarter.
Apple no longer provides a breakdown of iPhone unit sales, making average selling price estimates nearly impossible to calculate, but indicated a 12% year-on-year contraction last quarter as customers -- particularly outside of the United States -- balked at the $1,099 price point for last year's iPhone XS Max.