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Press Releases
TrendForce: 1Q14 Worldwide Smartphone Shipments to Slide by 5.1% due to Inventory-Related Pressures


Semiconductors / Consumer Electronics

Worldwide smartphone shipments reached 265 million units in 4Q13, showing a growth of 65% QoQ and 322% YoY, according to TrendForce’s research Thanks to the recent momentum brought about by Apple’s new iPhones, the proportion of high-end smartphone devices shipped jumped from 35% in 3Q13 to 37% in 4Q13, whereas that for the mid to low-range models (ie those whose prices fall within the range of US$450~US$150) remained at approximately 50% For the entire 2013, worldwide smartphone shipments increased by an estimated 335% YoY, ending at approximately 945 million units With smartphone makers ramping up Q4 shipments as a means to fulfill 2013 sales targets and pressures related to inventory digestion mounting, TrendForce projects that the global smartphone shipments will drop by an estimated 51% in 1Q14  Competition between Samsung and Apple Intensifies in High-end Smartphone Market Despite enjoying noticeable growth in the fourth quarter with an estimated 80 million shipped smartphones units (a 38% increase QoQ), the shipment proportion of Samsung’s high-end devices have shown a noticeable decline over the months In 2H13, the Korean company’s high-end smartphones represented only 38% of its total smartphone shipments, which is down from 50% in 1Q13 The decline is partially attributable to the company’s increased emphasis on mid to low-end smartphones, a decision which caused its profits to be lower than expected in the fourth quarter Sales of Apple's iPhones, on the other hand, were remarkably impressive due to the company's decision last quarter to promote the iPhone 5S in China On the whole, TrendForce projects the Cupertino giant’s Q4 shipments to be around 50 million units, which represents a growth of 478% QoQ and 112% YoY The iPhone 5S, in particular, accounts for nearly 70% of all of Apple's shipped iPhones (approximately 34 million units), and is partially responsible for the Cupertino company’s success in China, where its market share grew from 5% to 12% With the China Mobile version of the iPhones set to be released in 1Q14, Apple's overall market share in the region can be expected to remain stable The two noteworthy “dark horses” in the industry who are currently worth paying attention to, according to TrendForce, are SONY and LG Due to its increased efforts in the field of smartphones and hardware components, SONY has been able to boost its domestic market share to over 20% over the years Its product shipments, meanwhile, saw a series of noticeable growth since 1Q13, with the total numbers of smartphones shipped reaching an estimated 12 million units in 4Q13, a 16% QoQ and 62% YoY increase In 3Q13, Sony’s global smartphone market share rose to approximately 5% Benefiting from Google’s Nexus smartphone orders, the other noteworthy dark horse, LG, managed to ship a total of 11 million smartphone units during 4Q13 (2% QoQ and 57% YoY growth) The company's worldwide market share, meanwhile, grew to approximately 42% Performance of Chinese Smartphone Brands Impacted by Apple and Samsung Aside from Coolpad, whose smartphones usually cost less than 300 RMB to purchase, all of the other major smartphone brands from the country’s top four have experienced a slight decline in Q3 shipments One possible explanation for this trend is the weaker than expected replenishment effect during the country's recent holiday period Another is the rising popularity of foreign brands such as Samsung and Apple following the release of their updated devices in the third quarter In the periods ahead, TrendForce believes the influences of domestic brands such as TCL and Xiaomi will be a lot more prominent in the smartphone market Even though its overall shipment levels are not impressive compared to the first tier manufacturers, the quality and product standard of TCL's smartphone devices have already gained official recognition from Alcatel, and are enabling the Chinese company to earn more and more OEM orders and export opportunities For Xiaomi, the main strategy will continue to revolve around releasing products with high price performance ratios and devising novelties that surprise consumers Through effective brand marketing, the company's smartphone shipments have a legitimate shot of eventually approaching 40 million units in 2014  Despite the continuous decline in smartphone entry barriers, TrendForce notes that the majority of the Chinese smartphone manufacturers' impact is still only visible in the mid to low-end market sectors In the high-end and foreign markets, the said manufacturers’ influence is significantly less prominent To exert more impact in the market and gain larger market share, the Chinese manufacturers need to work hard on improving not only their product standards, but also their brand image

Press Releases
TrendForce: iPhone 5C’s Performance Expected to Drop, May Account for Only 24% of iPhone Shipments in 4Q13


Display / Consumer Electronics / Semiconductors

According to TrendForce’s research, Apple's Q3 iPhone shipments reached a total of 338 million units Together, the new iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C account for more than 50% of all of Apple’s shipped iPhones Given that the iPhone 5C's price ended up being a lot higher than expected, its Q4 shipments have been adjusted downwards by 11 million units, and is projected to account for only 24% of the total iPhones shipped during the quarter The iPhone 5S's sales performance, by comparison, turned out to be a lot better than expected; By the end of 4Q13, the said model is likely to account for nearly 70% of all the iPhones shipped The total number of iPhones shipped in 4Q13 is projected to increase by 22% YoY to 46 million units Shipments of Samsung's newest high-end model, the Galaxy Note 3, rose to 15 million units in 2H13, whereas the shipment proportion of the Korean company's mid-ranged devices reached 60% Sony has been making various product related adjustments ever since it formally entered the smartphone market in 2012 In addition to keeping its own designs for all of its products, the company has targeted its mid-ranged devices to foreign markets, and differentiates its high-end products based on specific hardware specs, camera functionality, and water proof designs As a whole, the shipments of Sony's entire smartphone lines have managed to improve significantly from 1Q13 In Q3 alone, the Japanese company's smartphone shipment grew to over 12 million units, a 106% QoQ and 79% YoY increase Its market share rose to 5% during the same period LG has been known to utilize and take advantage of the experiences it has accumulated during the days of making feature phones and selling various electronics products In 3Q13, the company's smartphone shipments exceeded 10 million units, showing a growth of 227% QoQ and 93% YoY The 4Q13 shipment of the struggling Taiwanese smartphone company, HTC, is predicted to fall by approximately 162% QoQ and 40% YoY to 52 million units The main reasons for HTC’s shipment decline include its waning market shares in the US and European markets and the fact that it failed to introduce any new products in 4Q13 other than the One Max Competition Intensifies among Smartphone Manufacturers, Economies of Scale Key to Survive Looking ahead to 1H14, TrendForce believes that smartphone manufacturers worldwide will face a lot of potential challenges First, for the smartphones makers whose shipments do not exceed 3% of the global total --in other words, those whose shipments do not reach 35 million units-- obtaining upstream components and materials at good prices can be difficult The inability of these manufacturers to adjust or lower their products’ high retail price can be a detriment given the prevalent price-drop trend within the market Taking the said factor into account, it is especially critical that smartphone manufacturers are able to take advantage of the economies of scale and maintain proper cost advantage within the industry Second, with chip manufacturers such as Qualcomm and Mediatek managing to facilitate the surge in mid to low-end smartphones, the hardware SPEC differences among competing smartphones have become increasingly less noticeable Due to the existence of such a trend, companies hoping to expand in the market need to think hard about how to increase the uniqueness of their products and offer something different Finally, given that smartphones with mid to low-end prices are generating smaller and smaller margins, the efficiency at which various branded manufacturers are able to assemble their own products have become less impressive than that of large scaled ODMs Whether it is in the area of assembly deployment or manufacturing, professional ODMs are generally more capable of achieving economies of scale Because of this, the small to mid-sized manufacturers that are typically weak in the areas of capital, cost, technology, and market performance are likely to exit the market rapidly TrendForce predicts that many of China's “white box” smartphone manufacturers will be among the first to face such an outcome The gaps left by these manufacturers will be filled by leading brands from China and various other foreign countries

Press Releases
TrendForce: Q3 Global Smartphone Shipments Meet Seasonal Expectations at 250M Units, 11.6% QoQ Growth


Display / Consumer Electronics

According to global research firm TrendForce, smartphone shipments have been strong as several smartphone manufacturers introduced new devices in the third quarter As Apple’s new iPhone 5S and 5C hits the market, Android makers like Samsung, Sony, LG, and less well-known Chinese brands are also releasing new smartphone models in the second half of the year TrendForce projects smartphone shipments will reach 250 million units in the third quarter, representing 116% quarter-over-quarter and 36% year-over-year growth Yearly smartphone shipment volume is forecast at 940 million units, a 332% increase over 2012 Apple’s Latest iPhone Arrives, Samsung Steps Up with Large Displays Of the top ten smartphone brands worldwide, only Samsung, Apple, and LG experienced shipment growth in the third quarter Taking a look at Apple, TrendForce analyst Wilson Miao indicates the Cupertino company tried something new in the third quarter due to unrelenting pressure from Android makers in the first half of the year; with the release of two new iPhone models at once, Apple states it sold 9 million smartphones within the first week The smartphone maker calculated total iPhone sales at 33 million units for the third quarter As the iPhone 5C’s price tag is higher than previously expected, iPhone sales are only expected to grow 22% in the fourth quarter, with a projected 46 million shipments Samsung broke records in the third quarter, shipping a total of 78 million smartphones Sporting 3GB of mobile memory and a 57-inch display, Samsung’s Galaxy 3 differentiates itself from its Apple competitor According to Miao, with a solid grasp on marketing channels and a clear price strategy, Samsung’s dominance of the global smartphone market is unshakable for the time being Huawei Remains Number One Chinese Smartphone Marker as Big Gets Bigger Benefitting from strong domestic demand, Chinese smartphone makers experienced the highest shipment growth worldwide, with a 205% increase in the third quarter Supported by MediaTek and Qualcomm’s reference design products, Chinese brands have been taking the domestic market by storm, producing devices with high price-performance ratios Huawei came in first again in the third quarter, shipping 15 million smartphones, 2 million more than runner-up Lenovo Miao notes, Huawei’s performance on the domestic market is not particularly impressive – it is foreign market sales, which make up 30% of the maker’s shipments that place Huawei a cut above its competitors and put the Chinese brand in third place globally The Chinese smartphone market will see the arrival of around 180 new models in the second half of 2013 Although stocking for the October 1 national holiday was not as strong as in previous years, the top four smartphone manufacturers still managed to ship an average of approximately 10 million units in the third quarter However, with tough competition when it comes to smartphone price, device makers’ margins are not as high as they once were Furthermore, as China continues to struggle with cash flow issues, small smartphone makers that are unable to achieve economies of scale are forced to withdraw from the market, with some staying on to provide low-cost manufacturing for large companies TrendForce expects next year will see a wave of China’s white-box smartphone makers exiting the market as they succumb to the pressures of competing against leading domestic and foreign brands

Press Releases
TrendForce: Xiaomi Squeezes past HTC to Become Fifth Most Used Smartphone Brand in China


Semiconductors / Consumer Electronics

According to the latest market survey conducted by AVANTI, a research division of TrendForce, both Samsung and Apple remain the most used smartphone brands among Chinese consumers Xiaomi has notably managed to rise past HTC this time around, and is currently at fifth place TrendForce believes Xiaomi’s smartphone sales will greatly affect China's domestic smartphone industry, and will exert the most impact on smartphone manufacturers such as Lenovo and ZTE, which produce similarly priced products Figure 1: Most used smartphone brand among Chinese consumers Source: TrendForce The Xiaomi brand is probably best known for its “low cost, high performance” reputation According to AVANTI’s research, more than 60% of the surveyed consumers have showed interest in buying the “Red Rice” smartphone due to its high price performance ratio as well as affordability Of these respondents, the majority of those that took interest in the device’s low price point tend to be 39 years old or under The male respondents who are most concerned about internet connectivity tend to show greater interest in keeping track of Xiaomi's smartphone devices than their female counterparts Aside from appealing to the existing Xiaomi users, the “Red Rice” smartphones have managed to also attract users of various other smartphone brands Compared to Apple, which enjoys high brand loyalty, many Android smartphone companies are revealed have been hit hard by Xiaomi's rising popularity The desire to switch to the “Red Rice” smartphone appears to be the greatest among Lenovo's and ZTE's users, and moderately strong among users of Samsung, Nokia, and Huawei According to the data collected from AVANTI’s 3,272 Chinese respondents, the Xiaomi smartphone’s usage rate, while above HTC’s, is still behind that of Samsung, Apple, Nokia, and Huawei The Chinese company currently ranks fifth in the “most used smartphone brand” category Figure 2: Desire to purchase Xiaomi smartphones from users of different brands Source: TrendForce

Press Releases
TrendForce:Xiaomi’s New Red Rice Phone Takes China by Storm, Carries $US 85 BOM



According to global market research firm TrendForce, smartphone manufacturing costs are decreasing – in 2014, low-end devices that cost less than US$150 are expected to represent 14% of total smartphone shipments worldwide, up from 11% forecasted for this year Mid-end smartphones, which cost between US$150 and US$450, are projected to account for more than 50% of shipments in 2014 Clearly, smartphone makers looking to expand their market share cannot overlook the low to mid-end sector Fully aware of this, Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi has released a Hongmi, or Red Rice, a device with decent specifications and a low price tag of RMB799 Taking a look at Red Rice’s hardware, its MediaTek MT6589 chipset accounts for 20% of total manufacturing cost The 47-inch, 312 ppi IPS display by AUO represents 22% of cost and is a significant upgrade from the 220 ppi display commonly used in similarly priced devices Based on component cost, total manufacturing cost for the Red Rice device is estimated at US$85(4Q”13) With a retail price of RMB799, roughly equivalent to US$130, Xiaomi is profiting at a rate difficult for other smartphone makers to keep up with Xiaomi is not relying on traditional sales channels for its new device but turning to Internet retailers instead – the company hopes to garner revenue from software, advertising, etc, creating a new smartphone profit model TrendForce believes Xiaomi is able to offer Red Rice at such a low price because the maker has a solid grasp on three important points of cost control First, Xiaomi usually unveils new products very early, at least a quarter before the actual release date, which gives component cost time to decrease Second, Xiaomi controls inventory better than its competitors Using an Internet pre-order sales model, Xiaomi is able to get a more exact estimation for initial production, thereby avoiding risk if sales are not as strong as expected Third, by marketing via social networks, Xiaomi cuts down on advertising costs, enabling the manufacturer to continue causing a stir on the market with each new device release Red Rice’s groundbreaking price will inevitably have an influence on other smartphone manufacturers’ pricing strategies, especially for low to mid-end products Currently, Xiaomi’s main market is China The company is eagerly expanding on foreign markets as well, but results have been limited Whether Xiaomi’s low prices will have an effect on smartphone makers in other markets will depend on the Chinese manufacturer’s foreign sales TrendForce believes Xiaomi’s long-term strategy includes continued expansion on the domestic market as well as breaking into foreign markets with high price-performance ratio devices As social networking platform services and software are the company’s main sources of profit, Xiaomi will need to develop new strategies to attract consumers in foreign markets As the company’s recently closed funding round has skyrocketed its valuation, Xiaomi is financially set to expand in foreign markets, potentially by acquiring local businesses Or, the funds could be used to improve manufacturing and ensure timely product delivery, a notable weakness of the growing company  

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