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Business trends

Smartphone slump has chipmakers pondering fate of 'supercycle'

iPhone X production cut sends memory prices falling by 10%

An Apple store in Taipei. Apple has reduced production of its iPhone X.

TOKYO -- Prices of memory chips have dropped around 10% in three months, triggering worries that the global semiconductor industry may be entering a correction phase.

The culprits behind the fall are Apple, which halved output of its flagship iPhone X in the January-March quarter, and Chinese smartphone makers such as Oppo and Vivo, whose remarkable growth has come to a halt. What happens to semiconductor prices affects a host of players, from materials suppliers to makers of semiconductor production equipment, and the industry has reached a critical juncture.

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