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Press Releases
TrendForce: Chinese Smartphone Brands Show Improved Performance, iPhone, Samsung, and Xiaomi Remain Dominant in China


Consumer Electronics , Semiconductors

A 2013 study conducted on China’s consumers by AVANTI, TrendForce's research division, reveals Xiaomi to be close behind the country's two most recognizable smartphone brands--Apple and Samsung HTC and Nokia's brand image performance, by comparison, is weakening in the country, and is gradually losing to that of China's domestic companies Even after shortening its gap with Samsung following the implementation of its China market strategy in 4Q13, Apple's ranking in AVANTI's "Future Purchase Consideration" category is still behind that of the Korean giant, which has managed to sustain its popularity in the Chinese regions due to the increased consumer attention towards its hardware's performance With the help of effective brand marketing and improved sales, Xiaomi managed to beat some of its domestic rivals in 2H13, and was revealed by AVANTI's market study to be the third most popular smartphone brand in the “future purchase” category One major issue with Xiaomi, despite its impressive brand ranking, is its relatively constrained supply chain, an impediment which allowed its smartphones to account for only 5% of the country's entire handset shipments and put it behind domestic brands such as Huawei, Coolpad, and ZTE For the entire 2014, Xiaomi needs to find ways to improve its supply chain in order to take full advantage of its brand momentum as well as boost its overall shipment performances Source:AVANTI Looking at the category of "Brand Loyalty," the top three companies in China are once again Apple, Samsung, and Xiaomi Nokia, by contrast, is in a distant fourth place According to AVANTI's survey data, the smartphone brand that Coolpad users want to switch to the most is Samsung, whereas Xiaomi users are generally more interested in switching over to ZTE Interestingly, even though Xiaomi is continuing to use Apple's iPhone as a model of reference, the proportion of Xiaomi users wanting to switch to Samsung is relatively higher than those who wish to change to Apple Compared to all the other smartphone consumers, iPhone users tend to be the most loyal to their brand, as evidenced in the fact that during 4Q13, 534% of the surveyed Apple users in China claimed they wouldn't want to switch to any other company Samsung has a relatively lower brand loyalty compared to Apple, whereas Xiaomi’s is observed to be decreasing on a quarterly basis Based on their rankings in the "Brand Image," "Future Purchase Consideration," and "Brand Loyalty" categories, it is safe to say that Apple, Samsung, and Xiaomi are all performing remarkably well within the China market Xiaomi, in particular, is a noteworthy case given the success it has in penetrating the saturated high-end market, its ability to seize mid-end market opportunities, and the attention it gained through its smartphones’ “iPhone” similarities In addition to its existing advantages, the company’s efforts in creating a user-centric interface and attention to its fans also helped improve its consumer popularity and brand image In 2014, Xiaomi is expected to continue impacting the market with its low cost devices; How its brand loyalty will change, along with whether the company can properly maintain its low price and software advantage, remains to be seen **AVANTI’s China consumer market survey was conducted in various different Chinese regions from November 27 to December 2, 2013; A sample of 3000 Chinese consumers were studied at a confidence interval of 95% and a margin of error of +/-18%  

Press Releases
TrendForce: 1H’Jan NAND Flash Contract Prices Fall as Suppliers Face Pressure to Digest Capacity



The NAND Flash contract prices have dropped by approximately 3%-5% in 1H’Jan compared to 2H’December, according to DRAMeXchange, a research division of TrendForce Looking at the demand side, with the estimated 1Q14 shipments of OEM devices such as Smartphones, Tablets, and Notebooks expected to fall by 15-20% QoQ, more and more NAND Flash manufacturers are beginning to increase their shipments to the module clients While this has caused the pricing downtrend to persist, the extent of the price drops have shown signs of easing due to the conservative attitude displayed towards Chinese New Year and the module manufacturer’s general reservations about re-stocking their inventory The sales of products such as memory cards, UFDs, eMMC, and SSDs are all expected to weaken in the short term as the typical effects of the off-peak quarter emerges Despite the efforts of suppliers to regulate their new wafer production levels, increases in the NAND Flash industry’s quarterly supplies will be inevitable following the continuous advancements towards 1Xnm technology In the event that the manufacturers’ main product sales do not show any notable improvements and that the market supplies continue to accumulate, the pressures faced by NAND Flash sellers to digest their capacity will become a lot more intense TrendForce believes that the NAND Flash industry will experience an oversupply in 1Q14, and estimates the gap between the market’s demand and supply to be approximately 4-5% The NAND Flash contract price drop is likely to become a lot more noticeable following Chinese New Year

Press Releases
TrendForce: USA’s Anti-Dumping Investigation May affect Taiwanese Cell Manufacturers



SolarWorld once again requested anti-dumping and countervailing investigation against Chinese modules shipped to USA This time, the investigation will include module with third-party solar cells EnergyTrend, a research division of TrendForce, indicates that the total amount of PV installation was 43GW in 2013, in which 90% (around 3GW) of modules were from China Although it cost US$07/watt for Chinese modules shipped to USA, the cost was very close to the minimum price set between EU-China However, due to the Chinese government’s great support towards the PV industry these years, Chinese manufacturers can sell relatively low-priced products as they are under deficit It’s projected that US has a moderate chance of establishing the case “Although the Taiwanese government didn’t provide PV subsidy plans (eg financial support, tax incentive, and export tax rebate) and Taiwanese manufacturers’ average cell price was between US$039-041/watt, Taiwanese cell manufacturers still turned around losses in 3Q13 due to the increased cell price Yet, judging from previous experiences, such as DRAM, steel, and textile industry, the criterion for product dumping has to depend on whether manufacturers’ sales price is lower than the cost Basically, by definition, Taiwanese manufacturers’ sales practices meet that criterion of USA’s anti-dumping Hence, the government agencies and the industry should respond quickly and start collecting and analyzing relevant data based on SolarWorld’s request Through searching for conditions favorable to Taiwan in the future investigation, Taiwan’s PV industry rights and future development can be maintained,” said Arthur Hsu, research manager of EnergyTrend Judging from the spot market, although the market is uncertain due to USA’s anti-dumping and countervailing investigation, they are still positive about the overall market condition EnergyTrend believes that the price from poly to cell will continue to increase in the short run in January For poly, Chinese poly price remained high The quotation may reach RMB$150/kg in January while actual price may be around RMB$143/kg Last week’s average price came to US$18768/kg, a 146% rise For multi-si wafers, supply shortage issue remained for high-efficiency products Manufacturers have also revised the price upward, which caused spot price to continuously increase Last week’s average price reached US$0979/piece, a 093% rise For mono-si wafers, last week’s average price was raised to US$1165/piece, a 017% rise For cells, market demand and utilization rate remained high in January Anti-dumping and countervailing investigation proposed by USA didn’t impact cell price to go up again in January, with average price reaching US$0393/watt, a 077% rise For modules, last week’s average price was US$066/watt, staying flat from last week However, EnergyTrend estimates that price trend in the short run will fluctuate due to USA’s anti-dumping investigation

Press Releases
TrendForce: Branded Manufacturers Get Defensive, Decline in Worldwide PC Shipments Expected to Ease in 2014


Consumer Electronics

Following the end of CES 2014, products such as wearable computers and 4K TVs, rather than PCs and Notebooks, have become the main focuses among industry watchers The PC shipments have been unable to recover since it showed a near 0% growth in 2011, and suffered an estimated 10% decline in 2013 even after Microsoft's new operating system and Intel's latest chip platforms had been introduced Avril Wu, TrendForce's assistant vice president, predicts that the 2014 PC shipments will drop by approximately 32% QoQ to 283 billion units, but notes that the numbers could improve following the increased hardware model transitions in the business market and the emergence of “hybrid” Notebooks within the industry Judging by recent shipment numbers, the popularity of highly portable computing devices and cloud-based applications appear to be increasing at a notable rate Smartphones, tablets, and server products have been showing consecutive shipment growth over the past few of years, for example, while various noteworthy companies are demonstrating the benefits of being a hardware-software company rather than a straight forward hardware manufacturer Whereas Apple has services like App Store and iTunes to rely on, companies such as Amazon are able to benefit significantly through its e-book contents and massive ecosystem For the hardware manufacturers who are without any notable software advantage, innovation has become highly critical to survival, as can be seen in the efforts by various companies to transform their existing PC hardware into new kinds of products Those that are unable to do this are generally able to only compete through price A “hybrid” Notebook, according to Wu, makes use of the 2-in-1 form factor, borrows design elements from Notebooks, and allows consumers to separate the monitor and keyboard to improve mobility In the past, the Wintel alliance has led to the release of various interesting types of hardware combinations, including models that allow for the use of different operating systems (ie Windows and Android) The popularity of these products, along with the manufacturers' general desire to incorporate low power designs, is perceived to be helpful in terms of stimulating market demand for components such as Mobile DRAM Low-cost Notebook models, similar to the aforementioned products, are expected to grow in importance and eventually become a major pillar for the Notebook industry In the periods ahead, Chromebooks will account for approximately 3% of the NB shipments, and its growth will be a key trend to look out for in the 2014 PC market Thanks to Microsoft's attempts to renew its operating systems (ie from Windows XP to Win8) and the recent marketing efforts from HP and Dell, the business markets are likely to experience a hardware model transition period which may, in the long run, enable the PC industry to hold up against Smartphones and tablets Assuming that their productivity-related functions and mobility aspects cannot be easily replaced, the shipments of PCs are projected to remain steady at around 3 billion units in 2014 PCs may not be able to attract as much hype and attention as innovative products, but they are still perceived to be necessary to the computing industry

Press Releases
TrendForce: Large-sized Panel Shipment Drops 10% in Jan 2014 with Tablet Panel Weakening Constantly



According to the latest survey by WitsView, the display division of the global intelligence provider TrendForce, the large-sized panel shipment in December 2013 reached 7371 million units, declining 4% MoM WitsView projects panel shipment of all application will weaken in January with a 10-11% drop in the overall large-sized panel shipment The TV panel will decline 10%, monitor and NB panel shipment will trim 14% and 11%, and tablet panel shipment will decrease 10% In December 2013 the demands for Lunar New Year holidays and some brands’ replenishment lifted the shipments of the 32”, 395”, and 40” panels, and the December LCD TV panel shipment came to 1973 million units, rising 1% MoM The monitor panel market was affected by brand clients’ inventory adjustments and only the 215” and 24” showed stronger momentum, leading to a total shipment of 1368 million units, dipping 2% MoM The NB panel market was influenced by the heating up demands in Asia-Pacific region, Europe, and emerging markets with panel makers’ rush orders for 14” and 156”continuing into December, supporting a panel shipment of 1625 million units, rising 3% MoM In the tablet market, only the demand for iPad series panels remained stable, other brands and white-box brands begun inventory adjustment, and the December tablet panel shipment reached 2403 million units, declining 12% MoM According to WitsView senior research manager Jeffy Chen, the Taiwan-based makers INX and AUO had relatively stable performance in December among all makers, seeing large-sized panel shipment growth 6% and 9%, respectively, as they benefitted from the rush orders of NB panels and the steadily rising LCD TV panel shipment Contrarily, the Korea-based makers LGD and SDC had a monthly 7% drop in the large-sized panel shipment because of the strategic adjustment on the IT panel production and tablet clients beginning to tune panel inventories Besides, the Chinese makers, BOE, CSOT, and CEC-Panda, had distinguish shipment performances as CSOT and CEC-Panda saw 14% and 28% monthly growth in large-sized panel shipments due to Chinese brands’ rising demand for the Lunar New Year, compared to BOE’s 18% monthly drop because of the softening tablet demands from the white-box and brand clients Japanese panel makers suffered from main tablet clients’ weakening demands as Panasonic LCD, Sharp, and JDI showed monthly drops 48%, 19%, and 34% WitsView indicates panel makers actively expand the tablet panel market as the IT panel profitability goes down, and while setting high tablet growth target, they trim the production for IT panels, causing concerns for the IT panel supply-demand balance in 2014 Nevertheless, based on Witsview’s survey, the overall Q1’14 tablet panel demand is weak because on top of the light season effect, most brands’ new models will only hit the market after Q2, while Apple, the No1 maker of the tablet market, will start to adjust the iPad series panels   In Q4’13, suppliers made breakthrough on the yield of the iPad series panels, along with Apple’s new model launches and the year-end peak season, contributing to a procurement volume of 303 million units for the 79” and 97”combined, of which 135 million units for the 79” and 168 million units for the 97” Apple is expected to start inventory adjustment in Q1’14, the panel demand will get stronger for the new iPad mini 2 while the demand for the 1st-generation iPad mini declines The overall 79” panel demand is expected to trim to 118 million units, the 97” panel sees a demand declining to 14 million units, and the overall iPad series panel demand is projected to reach 258 million units, declining 15% QoQ Chart 1: TFT-LCD Panel Shipment in Dec-13 (K units) Source:WitsView  

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