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Press Releases
TrendForce 2016 IT Industry Forecast – Competitions Among End Products to Expand Into Emerging Markets Next Year as Mobile Devices Drives IoT Growth


Telecommunications / Emerging Technologies / Semiconductors / Consumer Electronics

Global market research firm TrendForce held its 2016 IT Industry Forecast Conference at Room 101 of the NTUH International Center in Taipei, Taiwan, on October 15, 2015 The conference was divided into two sessions, with the first part devoted to forecasts on tech industries for 2016 TrendForce analysts specifically addressed thematic issues such as innovative end market solutions and trends in communication technologies Below is a summary of their presentations Smartphone shipment growth to slow in 2016 with China and India becoming the main growth centers Major Chinese smartphone vendors – Huawei, Lenovo and Xiaomi – have risen to become three of the top five international smartphone brands this year Supported by a large domestic market, these vendors have expanded into the emerging markets, Europe and the US with high cost-performance products However, challenges loom ahead as the feature phone market falters and the growth of the smartphone market enters a plateau period Smartphone shipments in 2016 are expected to fall steadily, and their annual growth rate will just reach 77% The driver of the global smartphone market next year will come from the replacement demand for 4G smartphones in China, according to Kelly Hsieh, TrendForce senior manager for mobile communication and end device research Vendors will also be very active in the emerging markets, with India being the focus of their attention Though the smartphone penetration rate in India is currently only around 20%, local telecom operators are working hard to expand mobile network coverage for suburbs of first and second-tier cities Usage of smartphones will effectively increase as telecom operators start offering devices with bundle plans Three major vendors will dominate the VR device market next year and sales will soar to 14 million units The introduction of the Apple Watch did not generate high growth in the smartwatch market as initially expected Therefore, wearable device developers are now shifting their interests to other attractive products, and virtual reality (VR) devices presently show a lot of potentials Jason Tsai, TrendForce wearable device analyst, said the sales of VR devices is estimated to soar to 14 million units next year, when vendors will be making mass shipments of their products With content offerings being the decisive factor the upcoming VR device war, products from HTC, Oculus and Sony will be the most competitive in the market HTC Vive, for instance, will be supported by Steam, a digital content distribution platform Oculus Rift, on the other hand, is championed a large group of independent developers Sony’s VR headset, PlayStation VR, will have access to its parent company’s massive collection of multimedia resources The spotlight of the competition in the VR scene next year will be on these three vendors as they make advances in the market and become the dominant players As IoT branches into different applications, developing better services will become the new competitive advantage Breakthroughs in key technologies, the proliferation of mobile devices and the explosive growth of the Internet have accelerated both the market and application growth of the Internet of Things (IoT) Smart homes, smart cities, and the much-discussed Industry 40 are some of the fields that are seeing the implementation of IoT-related technologies And within the IoT sector there are various applications, including healthcare, retail, logistics, transportation and other specific vertical industries Together these applications are projected to account for 70% of the sector’s total revenue  According to TrendForce IoT analyst Jimmy Liu, participants in the IoT sector will continue to focus on developing service-based applications Cultivating vertical industry expertise and cross-industry collaboration will be essential to creating new kinds of services The participation of the “Maker” communities can also complement the efforts of private enterprises and stimulate the market environment In addition to improving efficiency and reducing costs, advances in the IoT sector will also help create a value-added, sharing economy that is more human oriented Worldwide sales of industrial robots will reach 290,000 units in 2016 with Asia being the primary growth driver Harrison Po, TrendForce industry consultant, noted that the global market demand for industrial robots has been rising in recent years due to factors such as increase in the elderly population, rising wages, and labor shortage in the manufacturing sector On an annual basis, the sales of industrial robots worldwide are projected to grow 15% in 2015 and 10% in 2016, totaling 264,000 and 290,000 units respectively In 2014, the top three markets for industrial robots were China, Japan and the US However, Asia as a whole is set to become a significant market, and the region may even outpace Europe and the US in demand growth by 2016  Currently, industrial robots are most widely used in the auto manufacturing industry Growth in this application will come from the emerging markets, where investments in car assembly plants are taking place Another source of demand for industrial robots will be the expansion of the plug-in vehicle battery production In addition, opportunities are abound in the service robot market as more people around the globe are becoming elderly and/or living alone Currently, service robots are primarily designed to do domestic chores such as vacuuming China becomes the world’s largest plug-in vehicle market and automotive electronics market will shine in the next three to five years Growth in the auto market has fallen short of expectations this year due to the slowdown of the global economy China in particular has registered flat growth contrary to the impressive performances of the past years However, China’s plug-in vehicle market is significantly ahead of those in other countries in development, and it has overtaken the US in the first half of 2015 to become the world’s largest Based on TrendForce’s estimation, plug-in vehicle sales will surpass 450,000 units this year, and the market is expected to see steady growth in 2016 According to Eric Chang, TrendForce automotive electronics analyst, there are three major trends currently developing the auto industry First, there is the rapid development of automated driving systems Second, Connected Cars have become the forerunners to smart cars Third, breakthrough opportunities are emerging for plug-in vehicles in the ride-sharing market Chang stated that the automotive electronic market will experience a boom in the next three to five years as these trends converge

Press Releases
TrendForce Finds Panel Makers Turn to Developing High-Value Products as Notebook Panel Shipments Fall Short of Expectations



The August shipments of notebook display panels grew 21% over the prior month to 1443 million units, according to the latest large-size panel shipment report from WitsView, a division of TrendForce Though the August result was impressive, inventory pressure continues to build and demand has been weak compared with the prior year Based on WitsView’s estimation, just 4174 million units of notebook panels will be shipped this third quarter, a 4% quarterly drop compared with 4343 million units shipped this second quarter (which also had a shorter base period) Facing lackluster shipments, panel makers are shifting their focus from volumes to high-value products Wide-view angle, for instance, has become one of the value-added features to be widely incorporated in display panel products South Korean panel makers are the most active developers of wide-view angle products since they are pioneers in this field and have a technological edge The leading South Korean panel makers, LG Display and Samsung Display Corporation, are expected to have wide-view angle products representing 25~30% of their respective notebook panel shipments for this year Though China-based BOE Technology Group is a latecomer to the notebook market, it has emerged as one of the major players and its share of wide-view angle products in its notebook panel shipments for this year is projected to reach 10% Taiwanese panel makers in contrast are concentrating on developing products based on TN (Twisted Nematic) technology, so the share of wide-view angle products in their combined shipments for this year is estimated just around 5% On the whole, wide-view angle products are projected to account for 17% of the worldwide notebook panel shipments in 2015 Besides the marketing activities of panel makers, the merging of the notebook and tablet application will blur the distinctions among products Strong demand from wide-view angle displays will come from 2-in-1 devices sized 133 inches and under The penetration rate of this technology is therefore anticipated to rise further to 26% in 2016 Another feature change in display panels involves the resolution spec, which is moving towards Full HD and above Strategically speaking, the current HD products have razor-thin margins as competing panel makers continues to undercut each other Products with higher resolutions by contrast will offer more room for price negotiation Furthermore, major panel makers are on the same page and have become more aggressive in upgrading their products Therefore, the share of panels with Full HD or above resolution specs in the annual panel shipments is forecast to grow significantly from 13% in 2014 to 20% this year With mainstream TVs and mobile phones migrating to higher resolutions, notebooks will soon follow this development path Niche markets such as gaming notebooks and notebooks with the narrow bezel feature are also emerging, thereby increasing the application demand for advanced display resolutions WitsView thus expects the share of products with advanced resolution specs within the annual notebook panel shipments to grow up to 30% in 2016

Press Releases
Panel Makers to Have Challenges Staying Profitable in Fourth Quarter as Prices Keep Falling, TrendForce Reports



Prices of TV panels continue to drop and are approaching to the products’ cash costs, according to the latest report from WitsView, a division of TrendForce The pressure relating to business operation is going to multiply for panel makers as they go into the fourth quarter WitsView says prices of LCD TV panels steadily increased from the second quarter of 2014 to the start of this year, generating sizable profit for panel makers However, the depreciation of foreign currencies since the end of this first quarter has slowed down the sales of branded LCD TV sets in Europe and the emerging markets With profits turning to losses, branded TV vendors have scaled back their panel demand, leading to rising inventory level and falling prices Hence, the panel market is not showing signs of recovery despite the arrival of the traditional peak season Since excess inventories need time to be cleared out and Chinese panel makers are still expanding their capacities, the current price downtrend is likely to persist and influence panel purchasers’ decisions In sum, the panel market’s performance will become even more conservative in this fourth quarter TV panels have had a noticeable price decrease with the average decline between the start of this year and present being almost 15% Among the products, the 32-inch HD OC (open-cell) and the 55-inch FHD OC panels have suffered the worst with their declines respectively at 25% and 16% The price of the 32-inch HD OC panels has dived from US$93 at the start of this year to US$69 in the first half of September It is expected to keep falling during this quarter to around US$67, which is below the average total cost of US$70~71 and the average cash cost of US$59~60 As for the 55-inch FHD OC panels, their average price has dropped to US$225 in the first half of September and is nearing their average total cost of US$216~217 (their average cash cost is around US$176~177) WitsView expects the average price of this product segment to fall through its total cost level in October Panels of other sizes from the 395- to the 50-inch still have US$20~45 differences between their prices and total costs Panel makers therefore will depend mainly on them for profits Though the general price decline in the TV panel market is unlikely to ease, there is still some room for profitability Cutting production is the quickest and most effective way of dealing with continuing oversupply and downward price pressure Nonetheless, this practice can also impact the growth and profitability of the panel market Taiwanese and South Korean panel makers have a cost advantage over their Chinese competitors when it comes to Gen-85 production as their fabs are near the end of their amortization period Looking ahead, WitsView expects overcapacity, diminishing demand, falling prices and weak profits to remain as serious issues for the panel market in the fourth quarter

Press Releases
TrendForce Finds 2016 Global Smartphone Shipment Growth Down to 5.8% and Expects Even Apple to Face Single-Digit Growth Next Year


Consumer Electronics

The latest report from the global market research firm TrendForce projects that the 2016 global smartphone shipments will be at 134 billion units, showing just a 58% annual growth as well as a consecutive decline from the estimated 83% annual growth of this year According to TrendForce’s smartphone analyst Avril Wu, 2015 marks the end of the smartphone boom that began with the launch of the iPhone in 2007 “The industry from this year on will not be able to deliver the same impressive results of the past years, when shipment increases were upwards of 30%,” Wu said, “Smartphone growth trend is coming to a plateau period” The sales of iPhone 6 and 6 Plus stayed hot throughout the first half of 2015, unaffected by seasonality influences As a result, Apple will see its annual iPhone shipment growth close to 16% this year, totaling 223 million units However, the next iPhone (also referred to as iPhone 6S) focuses only on hardware upgrades and is similar to the current iPhone models in appearance Furthermore, several rival brands have released their latest models ahead of the next iPhone’s launch in September Samsung deliberately launched Galaxy Note 5 earlier, and so did Huawei with its Mate S featuring Force Touch and Sony with its Xperia Z5 Premium, which is the first smartphone with a 4K display These competing devices and the next iPhone’s lack of fresh looks will have a tangible impact on iPhone sales next year In sum, Apple is also moving into a plateau growth period, and TrendForce expects the vendor to see its first ever single-digit iPhone shipment growth in 2016 at about 75% Rising Chinese brands are bringing in a new round competition that will phase out some weaker players Though the projected global smartphone shipment growth for 2016 is reduced to a low 58%, TrendForce expects Chinese brands will be able to maintain shipment increases of at least 10% annually next year, with their combined shipments totaling around 576 million units “Our smartphone shipment data for the second quarter of this year shows that 7 out of the top 10 global smartphone vendors are Chinese,” said Wu, “They have shown themselves to be highly competitive, driving a new round of global industry restructuring as they steadily gain grounds over other global brands, such as Microsoft, Sony and HTC” From the standpoint of product cost structure, at least 80% of components for Chinese branded smartphones are sourced from foreign suppliers Therefore, the Chinese government has been encouraging the domestic smartphone industry to transform its role from manufacturing to independent R&D The expectation is that Chinese companies eventually will be participating in the configuration and standardization of smartphone specs Huawei using smartphone chips from its subsidiary HiSilicon is a case in point Another notable example is Spreadtrum’s efforts to enhance its R&D through its collaboration with Intel The Chinese government has furthermore targeted DRAM production for strategic investments as it aspires to create domestic rivals to South Korean and US companies that can develop DRAM components in house “The strengths of Chinese smartphone vendors will become quite formidable if they are able to obtain key component technologies without significant hindrances,” said Wu, “And in the next 10 years the focus of the industry’s attention will be on how the Chinese ‘Red Supply Chain’ is established in such a way that assists Chinese smartphone vendors to expand globally”

Press Releases
TV Panel Shipments Remain at High Level in Q3 but Trend Will Reverse in Q4, Reports TrendForce



The latest monthly LCD TV panel shipment report from WitsView, a division of TrendForce, finds the total TV panel shipments reached 2231 million units in July, down 1% from the prior month and up 7% a year ago Branded TV vendors remain optimistic about the peak season sales in the fourth quarter even though sales results in the end market have been weak so far this year Moreover, brand vendors have recently raised their panel purchases in order to strengthen their negotiating positions vis-à-vis the panel makers All these factors have kept up TV panel shipments, which will stay at about same level in the third quarter as in the second based on WitsView’s estimation Among the six top panel makers, SDC, BOE and CSOT stood out in the July shipments results SDC benefitted considerably from returning orders for Samsung TV sets, and its monthly shipment growth reached 28% as a result BOE and CSOT respectively posted 4% and 5% growth in July Their good performances were based on the expansions of their Gen 85 capacities, which led to shipment increases for their 32-inch, 48-inch, and 55-inch panels BOE’s new size category, the 43-inch, has also entered production Conversely, the other three top panel makers – LGD, AUO and Innolux, have not increased their TV panel capacities and lacked additional orders from major clients, so their July shipments respectively declined by 13%, 2% and 18% compared with the prior month According to WitsView’s fourth-quarter forecast, the slowdown in the Chinese regional economies shows that the country’s domestic market is saturated Moreover, branded TV vendors apparently have not devised exciting activities related to Chinese promotional sales events that will be taking place towards end of the year, such as Mid-Autumn Festival, National Day and Singles’ Day Whether brand vendors will keep up their panel purchases after mid-September is going to be a major concern in the panel market While panel stock up demand has been strong in the previous three quarters of 2015, the end market sales have been flat and inventories have been building up as panels are not being consumed at a steady pace Because of low demand and rising inventory level, WitsView’s estimates that TV panel shipments in the fourth quarter will fell 10% compared with the third as the supply-demand imbalance become more severe  For the latest report on LCD TV panel shipments, please see WitsView’s Monthly LCD TV Panel Supply Chain Tracker The report offers complete and up-to-date analysis on the display panel market 

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