iPhone X boxes
Apple component suppliers are reportedly looking for other clients due to the decreasing demand for iPhone X. Reuters/Edgar Su

Apple supplier Catcher Technology is now eyeing other clients after learning that the Cupertino giant’s iPhone X did not meet expected sales. The Taiwanese company is particularly targeting the electronic vehicle sector to ensure its growth this year and the years to come.

DigiTimes has learned that Catcher is now eager to develop motor chassis for electric vehicles because Apple has been cutting upstream supply orders. Even Foxconn and Casetek Holdings are reportedly planning to go down the same path due to the anticipated lower demand for their smartphone components and the stagnation of demand from notebook and consumer electronic sectors.

“Since motor chassis offer high profits and can be manufactured at the makers’ existing production lines, the business opportunity has become growingly appealing among the [manufacturers],” industry sources said.

IBT reported early last week that Apple’s suppliers have decided to take a break from producing more components for the 2017 iPhones due to declining orders from Tim Cook’s company. Mostly affected by the low orders are the manufacturers of components for the yearly upgrades, the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus.

Now it’s not just about the declining orders for iPhone cases. Taiwanese suppliers are also believed to be looking for other customers because Apple has sought for other iPhone component manufacturers in an effort to lower costs and reduce risks.

To diminish their reliance on Apple for their business to grow, Catcher, Foxconn and Casetek have reportedly talked to potential clients who are working augmented reality and virtual reality head-mounted displays, smartwatches and home appliances. But so far their main target is the EV segment.

The news comes after China Labor Watch published a report claiming that a Catcher plant in Suqian in eastern China does not provide its employees with a safe workplace. The non-profit organization described the Apple supplier’s factory as having safety hazards and lacking proper protective gear that could shield workers from the dangerous chemicals they are handling.

Catcher has since responded to the allegations, saying it has been paying attention to “environmental and labor-related matters.” The company also maintained that its factories follow Apple’s Supplier Code of Conduct and make necessary improvements year after year.