Apple's new iPhone 7 may rescue its parts suppliers

SHANGHAI - Apple's expected September launch of its iPhone 7 series is still more than a month away but the tech market is abuzz with talk of whether that would help bail out its suppliers of parts and components.

The latter have been on a rough ride ever since Apple announced a sharp drop in its January-March revenue.

Suppliers in Taiwan may be in recession for the first time this year, affected by the tech firm's flagging performance and falling demand for smartphones globally.

But market research firm International Data Corp is bullish on the iPhone 7 series. It said Apple's suppliers will likely benefit from them.

Still, Jason Low, tech industry expert at Canalys, is not so sure.

"As the iPhone 7 has not yet been released, we don't know whether Apple has made revolutionary changes in design and added functions.

"So we couldn't decide whether it could boost sales and have a more positive impact on suppliers."

There are positive signs though.

The Economic Daily News reported that Apple has started mass production of the iPhone 7 and that some companies were hiring staff as they prepared to assemble the newest model.

The United Daily News reported that Apple has asked suppliers to produce 72 million to 78 million iPhone 7 units by year-end.

The figure marks the highest target in the past two years, and far surpasses Wall Street predictions.