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    Electronic parts makers’ shares down as iPhone sales struggle


    TOKYO – Murata Manufacturing and Alps Electric fell for the first time in five trading days Friday as rumors swirled that Apple might get suppliers to cut prices.

    With iPhone sales struggling, foreign media coverage of Apple’s appeal for lower component prices led investors to sell on fears that parts makers’ business performance could suffer. A slight weakening by the yen had lifted such shares, enabling profit-taking.

    Murata ended down 2% at 14,000 yen, while Alps dropped 5% to 2,287 yen. Such other industry players as TDK and Nitto Denko also saw selling.

    “I have not heard anything about price cuts,” an executive at an electronics parts manufacturer said. “Even if such talks had begun, it is strange that they took place before announcing a new-product release.”

    “At present, sales to Apple are not dropping,” another executive said.

    Meanwhile, Apple shares rose 1% on Thursday in the U.S.

    Apple is slated to announce new hardware Wednesday. Investors will “pay close attention to whether price reductions on parts are indeed taking place and keep a close eye on preorders for the new iPhone,” an analyst at a Japanese securities company said.