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Business trends

Japanese Apple supplier hastens merger to offset poor iPhone sales

Alps Electric still faces opposition from activist investor

Expectation of a lower production of iPhone X is hitting Apple suppliers globally, including Alps Electric in Japan. (Photo by Maho Obata)

TOKYO -- Apple supplier Alps Electric says it is bringing forward its merger with subsidiary Alpine Electronics to capture synergies but the truth may be that it wants to offset a hit from poor iPhone X sales.

Alps, which provides image stabilization parts for iPhones, may also be seeking to fend off pressure from Hong Kong-based activist investor Oasis Management. The fund holds a near 10% stake in Alpine, which makes navigation systems and other electronic devices for vehicles, and is balking at the plan.

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