February 20, 2018 / 5:21 AM / in 10 months

UPDATE 1-Samsung Elec to slash OLED panel production as iPhone X demand disappoints - Nikkei

* Samsung to make panels for 20 mln iPhones in Jan-March -Nikkei

* Initial goal was to make panels for 45 mln-50 mln iPhones-Nikkei

* Further production cutback possible - Nikkei (Adds Samsung Display declines to comment)

TOKYO, Feb 20 (Reuters) - Samsung Electronics Co will slash output of its organic light-emitting diode (OLED) panels in response to its customer Apple Inc's decision to cut production of iPhone X amid weak demand, the Nikkei reported on Tuesday.

Samsung Display, the panel-making unit of Samsung Electronics, now plans to make OLED panels for 20 million or fewer iPhones at the South Chungcheong plant in the January-March quarter, significantly lower than its initial goal of supplying panels for 45 million to 50 million iPhones, the Nikkei reported.

Samsung Electronics stock fell as much as 2.3 percent in morning trade, while shares of Japanese OLED component makers, such as Hodogaya Chemical Co and Hirata Corp, also declined.

Samsung Display has yet to set a production target for the April-June period, but a further cutback is possible, the Nikkei reported, without citing sources.

A spokesman for Samsung Display declined to comment.

Apple will halve its iPhone X production target for the first three months of the year to around 20 million units, the Nikkei reported last month, adding to growing concerns about weak sales of the $999 phone.

The iPhone X was the first phone to get a major design overhaul since the launch of the iPhone 6 in 2015, and many expected it to lead to blockbuster sales. (Reporting by Minami Funakoshi in Tokyo; Additional reporting by Ju-Min Park in Seoul; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri)

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