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An Apple flexible circuit board supplier, Flexium, is anticipating a sales rebound in July, supporting the notion that "iPhone 7" manufacturing is underway and that Apple is at least doing a significant ramp-up for launch.
The rebound is linked to shipments to an important client needing the parts for new device models, according to Flexium chairman Walter Cheng, quoted by DigiTimes. While the company has other clients, Apple is crucial to Flexium's performance — iPhone 6 sales helped contribute to a 38 percent rise in revenues last year.
Weaker than expected sales of the iPhone 6s line have allegedly hampered Flexium since November, however. Apple reported its first year-over-year decline in iPhone sales during the March quarter, and the head of Apple manufacturing partner Foxconn has claimed that iPhone orders have not only been soft, but are expected to stay that way until early next year.
Another supplier, Advanced Semiconductor Engineering, recently acknowledged that Apple has been a "little more conservative" when placing orders during 2016.
Recent reports have suggested that Apple is deliberately holding back on the design of 2016 iPhones, as it's waiting for new technology to come to fruition. 2017 models could feature OLED displays with integrated camera and Touch ID components.