iPhone battery-saving chipmaker battered again on reports Apple loosening ties

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The supplier responsible for the battery-saving power management chips inside Apple's iPhone has seen its shares bleed more than half their value in 2018 amid multiple reports that Apple is moving in its own direction.

In a conference call Dialog Semiconductor CEO Jalal Bagherli said that Apple hadn't offered an explanation for cutting back orders for power management chips, or identified the second supplier, according to Reuters. However, the executive claimed that it was likely that Apple itself was the new party.

Dialog said the change will slice 5 percent off of 2018 revenues, though they should still grow year-over-year. Analysts estimate that the company derives over half of its income from Apple orders.

Dialog's reveal of the supplier shift for the iPhone slashed 3.9 percent from Dialog's share price in Frankfurt trading. The company's stock has lost over half its value in the past year.

Apple has been rumored as working on its own power chips for some time now, much in the same way it designs some other key components like its A-series processors and W-series wireless chips. Power designs could help the company cut costs and improve battery efficiency, something critical as it moves into augmented and virtual reality headsets.

Reports have suggested that Apple could deploy it's own power chips as soon as 2018. Dialog, though, has tried to downplay fears, at one point claiming its 2018 sales wouldn't be affected, while admitting Apple was in a position to come out with a chip in "the next few years."

Thursday's news appears to contradict these earlier statements, and again casts Dialog's future in doubt. Bagherli has also claimed that Apple has ordered chips for 2019 and 2020 devices. If Apple power technology emerges this year, it's likely to spread rapidly across products reducing orders accordingly.

This fall's iPhones are typically predicted to include 5.8- and 6.5-inch OLED models, and a 6.1-inch LCD device. It's not clear which device will have the new power IC that the Dialog CEO is referring to.