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Press Releases
Quarterly Smartphone Production for 4Q21 Undergoes Highest QoQ Growth for 2021 at 9.5% Primarily Owing to Contribution from Apple, Says TrendForce

2022/03/01

Consumer Electronics

Global smartphone production came to 356 million units for 2021, showing a QoQ increase of 95%, according to TrendForce’s latest investigations The second half of last year saw demand injections related to the peak promotion season for e-commerce platforms and year-end holiday sales These factors thus bolstered smartphone production and resulted in 4Q21 seeing the highest QoQ growth rate for the year Apple’s new iPhones were the primary growth driver On the other hand, the performances of a few smartphone brands were constrained by the shortage of some key components Hence, the total smartphone production for 4Q21 was slightly lower compared with 4Q20 or even 4Q19 Apple took production leadership in 4Q21 with record high of 855 million units After unveiling the iPhone 13 series in September, Apple started aggressively ramping up the shipments of these new devices to meet market demand Owing to its fast-paced sales and marketing rhythms, Apple has been able to take first place in the quarterly ranking of smartphone brands by production market hare for many fourth quarters, and 4Q21 was no exception Besides maintaining its top position in the fourth-quarter brand ranking, Apple raised its quarterly iPhone production to a new record high of 855 million units, a 660% QoQ increase In the aspect of pricing strategy, the prices of the new iPhone 13 models were reasonable for consumers, while the price reductions for the older iPhone models were noticeable as well Moreover, the capturing of the market share left by Huawei can be considered as the main factor behind Apple’s stellar performance in 4Q21 Over time, the orders for Huawei’s flagship models (ie, the P and Mate series) have been gradually replaced by iPhone orders In terms of annual production, Apple reached 233 million units for 2021, up from almost 200 million units for 2020 The growth was mainly attributed to an expansion of Apple’s market share in China from 10% to 16% Samsung took second place in the global brand ranking for 4Q21 with 71 million units, a 29% QoQ increase In 2Q21, the spread of COVID-19 outbreaks in Vietnam affected smartphone production facilities in the country and lowered Samsung’s capacity utilization rate But apart from that quarter, Samsung’s performance remained stable for the other three quarters of last year For the ranking of smartphone brands by annual production, Samsung was still the leader for 2021 with 275 million units OPPO (including Realme and OnePlus) took third place in the ranking with a quarterly production of 48 million units, a 59% QoQ decrease, for 4Q21 Xiaomi (including Redmi, POCO, and Black Shark) took fourth place with a production of 455 million units, a 22% QoQ increase Fifth-ranked Vivo (including iQoo), on the other hand, reduced its smartphone production by 118% QoQ to 30 million units As these three Chinese brands’ target markets and product strategies show significant overlap, their control of key components that are currently in shortage will have a direct impact on their production volumes going forward It should also be pointed out that Honor, which was spun off from Huawei in early 2021 and underwent a period of corporate restructuring and component procurement in 1H21, experienced a meteoric rise in 2H21 Much like other Chinese brands, Honor adopts a sales strategy that primarily focuses on the Chinese market, meaning Honor’s smartphone business will continue to affect OPPO, Xiaomi, and Vivo, all of which place a top priority on domestic sales Annual smartphone production for 2022 will likely reach 1381 billion units despite potential decline Assuming that the global spread of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to slow, TrendForce expects annual smartphone production for 2022 to undergo a slight YoY increase of 36% to 1381 billion units Not only is smartphone demand expected to decline in China, which represents the largest consumer market in the world, but other markets will also exhibit only limited growth Hence, the leading growth drivers will come from both cyclical replacement demand and new demand from emerging markets Notably, in addition to factors such as foundry capacity allocation, global inflation, and energy shortage, whether an economic recovery will bring about positive change for the smartphone market will continue to influence the overall performance of the industry TrendForce therefore believes that the annual smartphone production for 2022 may still face potential downside risks Regardless, the recent war between Russia and Ukraine has generated a host of issues including exchange rates, inflation, and logistics problems that affect smartphone sales in Eastern Europe With regards to the market share of smartphone brands in Russia and Ukraine last year, the top three brands by sales included Samsung, Xiaomi, and Apple, with a combined 45 million units sold, accounting for 3% of the global total Preliminary assessments indicate that the ongoing war will not have a drastic effect on smartphone production for 2022, though TrendForce also does not rule out the possibility that the resultant global economic problems may affect overall smartphone demand For more information on reports and market data from TrendForce’s Department of Semiconductor Research, please click here, or email Ms Latte Chung from the Sales Department at lattechung@trendforcecom For additional insights from TrendForce analysts on the latest tech industry news, trends, and forecasts, please visit our blog at https://insidertrendforcecom/

Press Releases
War Rages in Ukraine, Global Raw Nickel Prices for Power Batteries Likely to Rise, Says TrendForce 

2022/02/25

Energy

The conflict between Russia and Ukraine has escalated in recent days In addition to the surge in natural gas and crude oil prices, the conflict may also impact the supply of non-ferrous metals including aluminum, nickel, and copper According to TrendForce, nickel is a key upstream raw material for the manufacture of electric vehicle power batteries and mainly used in the production of ternary cathode materials In 2021, global nickel mine production was approximately 27 million tons, originating primarily from Indonesia, the Philippines, and Russia Russian nickel production accounts for approximately 9% of the world's total (including low, medium, and high-grade nickel), ranking third globally At present, the market penetration rate of new energy vehicles is accelerating and ternary power batteries account for nearly half of power battery market share, which signals strengthening demand for upstream raw material nickel for automotive power batteries Although Russian nickel exports remain unaffected for the time being, if the situation on the ground between Russia and Ukraine continues to deteriorate, global nickel supply may be impacted in the short term, pushing up nickel prices, and further increase cost pressures on end product markets such as the electric vehicle industry TrendForce states that in the medium to long term, since the lion’s share of new nickel ore smelting and processing projects have been located in Indonesia in recent years and Indonesia's nickel ore production accounted for approximately 37% of the world's total production in 2021, Indonesia’s concentrated production of nickel is expected to improve supply and demand in 2H22 TrendForce also emphasizes, regarding the export ban on mines announced by Indonesia last year, this ban only prohibits the export of raw ore and does not prohibit Chinese companies such as Zhejian Huayou Cobalt, Tsingshan Holding Group, Lygend Resources, and GEM from investing in the processing end of nickel mines in Indonesia Therefore, smelting nickel ore and highly processed products are not affected by the export ban From the perspective of suppliers, among the top five nickel ore manufacturers in the world, Russian manufacturer Norilsk supplies approximately 9% of the world's raw nickel materials, or 90% of overall Russian production, and its high-grade nickel production accounts for 22% of the world's total (Note: according to nickel content, nickel materials can be divided into high-grade nickel, medium-grade nickel, and low-grade nickel with high-grade nickel referring to Ni content ≥ 10%), ranking first in the world China’s Jinchuan Group ranks second at 17%, followed by Switzerland's Glencore at 13%, and Brazil's Vale SA at 12% TrendForce believes, looking at the current conflict between Russia and Ukraine, if Europe and the United States impose sanctions on Russia, a change in the flow of Russian nickel may occur due to the high concentration of production and processing by Norilsk TrendForce states, at present, high-nickel-based ternary cathode materials (primarily referring to ternary materials with high nickel content such as NCM622, NCM811, and NCA) rely on the two advantages of higher energy density and less dependence on the precious metal cobalt as a raw material, its market share of ternary cathode materials has increased rapidly, 10% in 2019 to nearly 40% in 2021 The development of high nickel content means that consumption demand for nickel corresponding to each ton of ternary cathode materials has increased With the acceleration of the penetration rate of new energy vehicles in China, Europe, and the United States, the market demand for lithium power batteries is strong and overall nickel inventories continue to decline At present, the global refined nickel inventory is only 100,000 tons In the context of tight supply and increasing demand, inferring from the Chinese market where new energy vehicles accounted for 53% of the global market in 2021, the spot market price of electrolytic nickel in China reaching RMB130,000 to RMB150,000 per ton in 2021, and prices jumping in early 2022 to RMB160,000 to 170,000 per ton, the possibility of continued pricing spikes in the future cannot be ruled out For more information on reports and market data from TrendForce’s Department of Green Energy Research, please click here, or email Ms Grace Li from the Sales Department at graceli@trendforcecom For additional insights from TrendForce analysts on the latest tech industry news, trends, and forecasts, please visit our blog at https://insidertrendforcecom/

Press Releases
UMC HJTC Resumes Operation, Wafer Input Loss at 2 Weeks and Manageable, Says TrendForce

2022/02/24

Semiconductors

Since February 14, UMC subsidiary Hejian Technology (HJTC), had entered phased shutdown and temporary suspension due to the pandemic, according to TrendForce's investigation The plant is an 8-inch fab and its production capacity accounts for approximately 25% of UMC's total 8-inch capacity and approximately 3% of global 8-inch capacity Since this incident was not an unforeseen accident, utilization rate during the phased shutdown was maintained at roughly 25~30% and wafers on the production line did not need to be scrapped The plant has gradually resumed operation today (2/24) Since it takes approximately five to seven days to recalibrate semiconductor equipment, full recovery of overall utilization rate is expected to fall in early March with an estimated wafer input loss of 14~20 days, affecting approximately 4~5% of the company's 8-inch production capacity this quarter or approximately 04~05% of global 8-inch production capacity, a manageable situation overall UMC HJTC Fab 8N contains 05μm~011μm node production lines and is a full eight-inch fab The actual proportion of customer products on the production line at the time of the incident is as follows: HJTC’s largest client Silergy accounted for 40% of the production line for PMICs, with most end applications being consumer and industrial products such as IP cams, air conditioners, and refrigerators SinoWealth and Novatek each accounted for 13% of the production line with products such as MCUs and large size DDIs Other PMIC clients include Mediatek and GMT who accounted for approximately 35% of the plant's production capacity Since most customer products allocated to this fab are simultaneously produced at the UMC fab in Taiwan or at other fabs and end-user products including smartphones, TVs, and laptops are all currently in the off-season, restocking momentum is weak TrendForce believes that although the shutdown was longer than expected, since no wafers were scrapped on the production line and the cycle time of some PMICs is short, wafer input losses have an opportunity to be mitigated through expedited order production and have limited impact on shipments In terms of revenue, due to the relatively low selling price of 8-inch wafers, the impact of this incident on UMC’s annual revenue performance falls within a 03% range For more information on reports and market data from TrendForce’s Department of Semiconductor Research, please click here, or email Ms Latte Chung from the Sales Department at lattechung@trendforcecom For additional insights from TrendForce analysts on the latest tech industry news, trends, and forecasts, please visit our blog at https://insidertrendforcecom/

Press Releases
Notebook Panel Shipments Hit Record High 282 million in 2021, Potential Risk of Correction in 1H22, Says TrendForce

2022/02/24

Display

In 2021, notebook panel shipments reached a record high of 282 million units, with an annual growth rate of 251%, according to TrendForce’s research In the first half of the year, demand was driven by the pandemic and primarily focused on consumer notebooks and Chromebooks while, in the second half of the year, as Europe and the United States gradually lifted lockdowns and work returned to normal, demand largely shifted to commercial models, which continued to support the demand for notebook panels throughout the year It is worth noting that TrendForce believes shipment totals of notebook panels from 1Q22 to 2Q22 may be corrected Notebook panel shipments in 1Q22 are estimated at approximately 679 million units, a QoQ decline of 97% while 2Q22 shipments are expected to drop to 614 million units, down 95% QoQ In addition to the impact of the traditional off-season, there are two reasons for this correction One is that inventory on the brand-side has increased Due to the shortage of panels in the past two years, the brand-side continued to purchase panels in 2021 to avoid supply chain disruption Normally, notebook brands hold 4 to 8 weeks of inventory but some brands have already stocked up to 8 weeks Two, since a whole notebook requires numerous components, it cannot be assembled and shipped if even one is missing Limitations impose by incomplete materials lists caused the growth rate of notebook computer shipments to fall behind that of panel shipments, shifting notebook computer panels into oversupply Despite this, TrendForce has specifically mentioned, since the profit margin of notebook panels still beats LCD monitor panels and TV panels, panel makers will still desire an increase in the supply of notebook panels However, in the face of a possible correction in notebook panel shipments, panel makers may accumulate more inventory and deepen the downward pressure on notebook panel pricing Looking forward to 2022, panel shipment performance and price trends will be adversely affected by adjustments in notebook brand inventories in 1H22 In 2H22, notebook brands will continue to focus on sales plans for whole notebook computers The sales performance of these brands during the peak season is still worth looking forward to and the restocking momentum of notebook panels is expected to recover Current estimates put the shipment of notebook panels at 265 million in 2022, a decrease of 60% YoY For more information on reports and market data from TrendForce’s Department of Display Research, please click here, or email Ms Vivie Liu from the Sales Department at vivieliu@trendforcecom For additional insights from TrendForce analysts on the latest tech industry news, trends, and forecasts, please visit our blog at https://insidertrendforcecom/

Press Releases
Total NEV Sales Reached 6.47 Million in 2021 with BYD First in Plug-in Hybrids, Says TrendForce

2022/02/24

Emerging Technologies

In 2021, total sales of new energy vehicles (NEVs including battery electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, and fuel cell vehicles) reached 6473 million units, with annual growth rate reaching 122%, the highest growth rate since the development of vehicle electrification, according to TrendForce’s research Battery electric vehicles (BEV) accounted for approximately 716% of total sales and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) accounted for approximately 281%, while the scale of fuel cell vehicles remained small Tesla ranked first among BEV brands with total global sales exceeding 930,000 vehicles and a 202% market share SAIC-GM-Wuling ranked second, posting strong sales numbers for their low-priced mini electric vehicles in 2021 Other BEV brands such as Ora and Chery have also greatly increased sales performance on the backs of mini-vehicle products The significance of this segment in the NEV market is considerable On the whole, a reinvigorated BEV market has birthed a number of new brands that have further fractured market share The concentration of market share among the top ten BEV brands dropped from 644% in 2020 to 57% in 2022, indicating an escalation of market competition  BYD ranked first in PHEV sales with 273,000 vehicles sold in 2021, accounting for 15% of the market Both BYD and seventh ranked Li Auto posted multifold growth, suggesting China’s reduced PHEV subsidy policy exerted minimum impact on the market In addition to a number of luxury European brands holding their spots on the sales ranking, TOYOTA moved swiftly into fifth place while Jeep, a part of the Stellantis group and known for its performance cars, ranked 10th with the lion’s share of sales coming from the United States and Europe  From a regional perspective, NEV sales in China once again exceeded half of the global total in 2021 while NEVs accounted for 193% of China's overall auto market TrendForce states, in addition to fierce competition, the Chinese market also includes numerous new brands, accelerated mass production, joint venture brands adjusting strategies, and overseas deployment of domestic brands targeting Europe, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia In addition, with the European Union strongly promoting electrification, the penetration rate of NEVs in several leading countries such as Germany and France is expected to reach 20~25% in 2022 In terms of the currently trailing US market, the Biden administration's many policy incentives have focused the actions of brands and supply chains which include the introduction of ever-popular (in the US market) battery electric pickups by a number of automakers In addition, many new brands such as Rivian, Lucid Motors, Fisker, and Lordstown Motors have successively entered the mass production and assembly stage of vehicle manufacturing or plan to enter mass production in 2022, making the future of the US electric vehicle market worth observing in terms of quantity and competition As the global trend of energy conservation and carbon reduction remains unchanged and automakers shift greater proportions of their product lines to electric vehicles, the total number of NEVs is forecast to exceed 10 million in 2022 However, the international situation is turbulent, and the Russia-Ukraine conflict has caused the price of crude oil to rise In addition, Ukraine supplies neon gas for the semiconductor process and Russia is a producer of nickel ore Nickel is a key material for electric vehicle batteries Once the war heats up, the automotive industry will bear the brunt of rising costs and unstable supply chains, which are variables for the development of NEVs in 2022 For additional insights from TrendForce analysts on the latest tech industry news, trends, and forecasts, please visit our blog at https://insidertrendforcecom/

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