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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 

Press Releases
Weak Second-Quarter Demand Pushes Down 2015 LCD TV Shipment Estimate to 220M, Says TrendForce


Consumer Electronics

The latest report from WitsView, a division of TrendForce, finds the global shipments of LCD TVs in this second quarter totaled 4825M sets, down 64% from the prior quarter Due to the slowdown in the Chinese economy, sales figures from events related the Chinese Labor Day and the Dragon Boat Festival fell below expectations Moreover, the Greek debt crisis and the depreciation of the emerging market currencies have eroded brand vendors’ margins and led to continuing inventory accumulation of TV products WitsView projects that TV shipments in the third quarter will grow 19% compared with the second quarter, which had a low base period In the latter half of the year, numerous holidays across the globe will generate market demand for TVs China will have sales events related to the Mid-Autumn Festival and the National Day, while the United States and Europe are readying for the Thanksgiving and Christmas season However, the uncertain global economy and the need to reduce excess inventory mean the stock up demand will not be as aggressive as anticipated WitsView therefore has revised the shipment estimate LCD TV sets for 2015, from 223M down to 220M The annual shipment growth estimate has also been marked down from 346% to 174% Korean brands face declining shipments while Sony continues to adjust its strategy Samsung held on to its position as the LCD TV leader in the second quarter with 105M sets shipped, a volume comparable to that of the prior quarter LGE followed Samsung at No 2, but its second-quarter shipments dropped 53% due to poor sales in the emerging markets and slowing Chinese domestic demand Depreciation of the euro and emerging market currencies was also a factor Overall, the second-quarter shipments did not grow as anticipated for the Korean brands, but instead there was a general decline Though Chinese brand vendors TCL and Hisense respectively stayed at the third and fourth place in the second-quarter shipment ranking, they also suffered shipment drops of 19% and 12% Low sales during the Chinese Labor Day and the Dragon Boat Festival hurt their performances On average, the six major Chinese brands (TCL, Hisense, Haier, Konka, Changhong and Skyworth) suffered a 123% quarterly decline There are indications that some Japanese TV brands will eventually stop exporting TVs to the overseas markets Sony was the only Japanese brand that entered the top five bracket in the second-quarter shipment ranking Rather than just focusing on raising shipments, Sony intends to improve its profitability and business operations this year To this end, it has introduced large-size, high-end TV sets Set against the previous period, Sony’s shipments fell by 10% in the second quarter; and its market share also dropped slightly to 54%, down from 56% in the first quarter The majority of Japanese brand vendors are licensing out their brand names or selling factories in order reduce their operating costs It is expected that most of the Japanese brands will gradually cease their overseas operations in the future

Press Releases
TrendForce Adjusts Notebooks’ Unit Memory Capacity for 2015 Down by 3~5% due to Microsoft’s New License Fee Arrangement for Windows 10



Microsoft will launch Windows 10 globally on July 29 The latest version, which combines the strengths of its predecessors, is free to upgrade for users of genuine Windows 7 and 8 According to DRAMeXchange, a division of TrendForce, the PC replacement demand generated by Windows 10 will be noticeably weaker than the vendors’ initial expectations Besides being free for users of earlier Windows, the latest Windows does not require specific hardware upgrades With the average lifespan of PCs continuing to increase, three- to five-year-old PCs will be able to run on Windows 10 smoothly DRAMeXchange estimates that the 2015 notebook shipments will reach 168M units, a decline of 5% compared with 2014 This shipment projection is mainly based on the downward revisions of the global economic outlook, but Microsoft’s free Windows 10 upgrade scheme also has a certain amount of impact on the overall PC shipments  Moreover, Microsoft for the first time calculates its OS license fee based on a device’s display size, memory capacity and HDD/SDD storage capacity The formula also factors in device type and will be different for tablets, notebooks and desktops DRAMeXchange reports the current price difference between notebooks carrying 2GB memory modules and the mainstream 4GB memory modules is close to US$20 Since margins for notebook products are generally low, some vendors are studying ways to avoid higher Windows license fees One way is to equip low-priced notebooks with 2GB memory Another option for vendors is to negotiate with retailers about the possibility of upgrading memory at the retail end  Microsoft’s new license fee formula and the demands from the computer vendors have forced DRAM manufacturers to make plans to restart production of 2GB modules, which were originally destined to be phased out Presently, both Samsung and SK Hynix are able to provide 2GB memory solutions to their clients Micron’s 2GB products are also at verification stage and will be available on the market later Microsoft’s new license fee arrangement for Windows 10 is expected to have a certain effect on the DRAM industry DRAMeXchange therefore has made a downward revision on the notebooks’ average unit memory capacity for this year from 46GB to 44GB, which is a 3~5% drop With contract price continuing to fall, this anticipated reduction in notebooks’ unit memory capacity will undoubtedly add pressure on the DRAM industry 

Press Releases
Peak Season for LCD TV Panel Shipments May Not Materialize in Q3 Due to Excessive Shipments in First Half of 2015, Says TrendForce



The latest report from WitsView, a division of TrendForce, finds shipments of LCD TV panels in June fell 05% monthly but increased 79% yearly, totaling 226M units The shipments in the previous six months reached 1323M units and fulfilled 525% of this year’s total LCD TV panel demand, which is estimated at 252M units Historically, this is the first time that over 50% of a year’s total shipments has been achieved within the first six months of that year This shipment result not only has set a record but will also create inventory issues that will affect the purchasing strategies of branded TV vendors in the second half of 2015  WitsView’s analysis further reveals that TV vendors had been aggressively stocking up panels since this year’s first quarter because of the shortages in the previous year, and this resulted in an unusually strong market during the off-peak season Moreover, TV shipments in the first quarter dropped just slightly by 08% due to the strong efforts from vendors to reach their yearly shipment targets Even though the base period is set higher for the second quarter, the quarterly TV shipments still posted a growth of 33%  Nonetheless, inventory pressures mounted for TV vendors during this year’s first half because the depreciation of the euro and the emerging markets’ currencies made the end market weaker than anticipated By the end of the second quarter, TV vendors had an additional two to three weeks’ worth of panel stock compared with the first quarter They therefore are gradually revising their shipment targets Moreover, the accumulation of purchased panels in the first half of this year as well as uncertain market demands are going to affect vendors’ willingness to stock up Based on WitsView’s projection, there might be a 07% quarterly decline in panel shipments in the third quarter, and this is quite unusual during the traditional peak season  WitsView’s third quarter forecast for LCD TV panel shipments finds that even as the market is preparing for the Black Friday sales as before, it will be relatively less thriving than it was in the same period of past years This situation indicates the retailers are steadily becoming more uncertain about the end market demand In the coming months, a series of shopper holidays will take place in China, including the Mid-Autumn Festival, National Day, Singles’ Day and Double 12 These retail events will be able to support TV panel demands to a certain level before the traditional peak season However, the excess shipments during the first half of 2015 has led to a slow but ongoing increase in TV vendors’ inventories Vendors will negotiate to lower panel prices in order maintain their margins In sum, the panel market in this third quarter will not be as strong as in the previous third quarters because factors such as the general economic environment and fluctuating currency exchange rates will affect end market demand WitsView also foresees serious challenges to market confidence in the fourth quarter  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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