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Business trends

Smartphone boom goes silent as iPhone X and China slump

Parts suppliers scramble for solutions to Apple's woes and US ban on ZTE

The iPhone X, pronounced "ten," has underperformed expectations since its November launch.

TOKYO -- Smartphone growth appears to be losing steam with low sales of Apple's iPhone X and a slowdown in the key Chinese market, prompting chipmakers and other information technology suppliers to rethink their strategies and consider seeking a new growth driver.

Sino-American trade friction contributes to the malaise as well, with the U.S. imposing sanctions on major Chinese smartphone maker ZTE, whose larger compatriot Huawei Technologies faces a similar threat.

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