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Asian technology companies are beginning to see earnings pain from global stagnation in smartphone sales. (Illustrations by Eric Chow)
The Big Story

Asian tech companies struggle to adjust to iPhone slowdown

Chip, display companies tighten belts as profit forecasts shrink

KENJI KAWASE, Nikkei Asian Review chief business news correspondent and CHENG TING-FANG, LAULY LI, KIM JAEWON, Nikkei staff writers | China

HONG KONG/TAIPEI/SEOUL -- Apple shocked global stock markets with its Jan. 2 warning that a steep drop in iPhone sales in China would force it to miss quarterly sales targets for the first time in over 15 years. Investors were stunned by the ferocity of the New Year selloff that followed.

But for the Asian technology companies that supply components to Apple and other smartphone makers, it had been apparent for months that something was wrong. From chip manufacturers to panel makers, the final quarter of 2018 was marked by a sudden, swift drop in demand -- particularly in China.

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