What’s Behind Apple’s Latest Troubles?

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Friday’s torrid market run for Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) was partly blamed on Jefferies analyst Peter Misek, who said some of the company’s product suppliers had recently received order cuts and that past “bottlenecks” in the iPhone manufacturing chain could affect numbers until March.

What is the Story Behind the iPhone Issues?

“Our checks indicate the builds at the assemblers Hon Hai [Precision Industries], Pegatron, Jabil (NYSE:JBL) have remained constant,” Misek wrote on Friday in a research note to clients. “But in the last 24-48 hours, component suppliers have seen large order cuts as the assembly bottleneck has not improved as much as hoped.”

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The analyst added that expectations that Apple would currently be further along the assembly ramp have not been met, and consequently, the company would see extra charges due to the excess component inventory. Misek cut his fourth-quarter gross margin estimate for Apple to 39 percent from 40 percent.

There were also reports of a fairly dull iPhone 5 launch in Beijing amid a snow storm that kept shoppers home. “The iPhone 5 China launch has been surprisingly muted but we are unsure how much weather (snow) or the required pre-ordering (to prevent riots) are factors,” Misek said. Apple enforced a strict pre-order policy after a near-riot in January during the launch of the iPhone 4S.

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