Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

These 5 Apple Suppliers Will Profit From the iPhone 12

By Leo Sun – Oct 20, 2020 at 9:00AM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

Apple's latest iPhone could cast a spotlight on these top supply chain players.

Apple (AAPL 1.98%) recently unveiled the iPhone 12, and bullish analysts expect plenty of consumers to buy the new 5G devices. Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives declared the iPhone 12 would mark "the most significant product cycle for Cook & Co. since iPhone 6 in 2014" -- Apple's best-selling iPhone ever.

Buying shares of Apple, which generated over half its revenue from iPhones in the first nine months of 2020, is the easiest way to profit from that upgrade cycle. However, investors shouldn't overlook five other Apple suppliers that should benefit from brisk sales of the iPhone 12.

Apple's iPhone 12 Pro.

Image source: Apple.

1. Skyworks Solutions

Skyworks Solutions (SWKS 2.81%) sells various radio frequency (RF) chips for the mobile, automotive, wireless infrastructure, home automation, and industrial markets.

But its top customer is Apple, which accounted for 51% of its revenue in fiscal 2019. Skyworks provides front-end RF modules, which support wireless antennas, for iPhones and Apple Watches. 

Skyworks believes average front-end chip revenue will rise to $25 per 5G smartphone, up from $18 per 4G device and $8 per 3G device. Therefore, Skyworks' revenue per iPhone should rise significantly with the iPhone 12, and complement its content share gains in Android phones, connected cars, and other 5G-enabled Internet of Things (IoT) devices.

2. Cirrus Logic

Cirrus Logic (CRUS 4.02%) is Apple's longtime supplier of audio chips for iPhones, iPads, and Macs. A whopping 79% of its revenue came from Apple last year. Some investors were disappointed when Apple chose Maxim's (MXIM) audio chips over Cirrus' chips for its first- and second-generation AirPods, but Cirrus' chips will likely remain in Apple's core hardware devices for the foreseeable future.

Cirrus' high exposure to Apple often enables it to outperform many other Apple suppliers as iPhone sales rise. But Cirrus also doesn't have much clout in price negotiations, and its business could be abruptly derailed if Apple switches suppliers or starts developing its own audio chips.

3. Jabil

Jabil (JBL 1.66%) is an electronics manufacturing company that produces myriad products for various industries. But its top customer is Apple, which accounted for 22% of its sales in fiscal 2019.

Apple's iPhone 12 Mini.

Image source: Apple.

Jabil produces casings for iPhones and iPads. Those components are the core growth engines of its Diversified Manufacturing Services (DMS) unit, which generated 39% of its sales last quarter and also manufactures products for the healthcare, science, and technology markets.

The remaining 61% of Jabil's revenue came from its Electronic Manufacturing Services (EMS) unit, which serves the automotive, industrial, cloud, defense, energy, telecom, retail, and smart home markets. Jabil posted its strongest revenue growth in three quarters last quarter, as robust demand from the semiconductor, 5G wireless, cloud, mobility, and healthcare markets offset its weaknesses in other markets -- and strong iPhone sales could help it maintain that momentum.

4. Broadcom

Broadcom (AVGO 0.13%) sells chips to the data center, networking hardware, storage solutions, broadband, wireless, and industrial markets. It also owns a growing infrastructure software business.

Broadcom is larger and better diversified than many other Apple suppliers, but it still relied on the tech giant for 20% of its revenue last year. Broadcom's chips, which include touch screen controllers, RF front-end modules, Wi-Fi chips, and Bluetooth chips, can be found in iPhones and iPads.

Broadcom's spot in Apple's supply chain is fairly secure compared to those of other suppliers: It signed a deal with Apple at the beginning of 2020 that will generate $15 billion in chip sales over the following three and a half years. Rising sales of iPhone chips could complement the growth of Broadcom's networking and broadband chips to cloud and telco customers, which benefited from stay-at-home trends throughout the pandemic.

5. Lumentum

Lumentum (LITE 2.65%) supplies optical components for Apple's 3D sensing cameras. Therefore, the addition of a depth-sensing LiDAR sensor to the iPhone 12 Pro's rear camera is likely good news for Lumentum, which generated 26% of its revenue from Apple last year.

Apple's orders support Lumentum's OpComms business, which generated 90% of its revenue last quarter by selling optical components to telco, data communications, consumer electronics, and industrial customers. The rest of its revenue comes from laser products, which are primarily used for manufacturing and remote sensing purposes.

Lumentum's growth decelerated significantly last year, as macro headwinds offset its stronger sales to the 5G and data center markets, but the launch of the iPhone 12 and the growing adoption of 3D-sensing cameras should buoy its growth this year.

The key takeaways

Investors shouldn't buy these five stocks based on their exposure to Apple alone. Instead, they should use Apple as a starting point to evaluate the rest of their portfolios, and see if their iPhone-related gains complement their strengths or offset their weaknesses. If the weakness outweighs the strengths, it might be wiser to simply buy shares of Apple instead.

Leo Sun owns shares of Apple. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Apple and Skyworks Solutions. The Motley Fool recommends Broadcom Ltd, Cirrus Logic, and Lumentum Holdings. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.