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Press Releases
Xiaomi and Huawei Verging on Samsung as Chinese Smartphone Brands Grew Greatly in Image and Visibility, TrendForce Reports


Consumer Electronics

According to TrendForce, the shipments of Chinese brand smartphones reached a new high in 2014 with a total shipment of 453 million units, which translated to an annual growth of 548% and accounted for nearly 40% of the worldwide shipments The formidable rise of Chinese brands was an important development of the year AVANTI, a Chinese consumer research division of TrendForce, recently released a smartphone market survey that shows domestic brands in China are becoming more appealing and are in a position to catch up with top brands like Samsung and Apple  Based on AVANTI’s findings, in 2014 Samsung managed to retain its leading position among the Chinese consumers in terms of brand image, visibility, appeal, and user percentage, but there were noticeable slides from the third to fourth quarter Samsung’s brand appeal had already been surpassed by Apple’s iPhone in the first quarter in 2014 and stayed in the second place since then On the other hand, Apple’s user percentage growth became more significant in the fourth quarter when iPhone6/6 Plus was launched, putting the pressure on the declining Samsung  Compared with its Chinese competitors, iPhone has greater brand loyalty than them, but the growth of its brand loyalty in 2014 was far smaller than the Chinese brands and showed signs of slowdown In 2014, Chinese brands Xiaomi and Huawei experienced steady growths in both image and visibility in the domestic market Xiaomi even managed to best Samsung in the brand loyalty rankings for the fourth quarter, taking the second place  Chinese brands will start to pick up in their domestic market in 2Q15, but expect diminished growths throughout the year  TrendForce’s smartphone analyst Henry Chung said with domestic telecom companies cutting subsidies since the second half of 2014 and with the influence of 3G/4G device upgrade cycle, Chinese brands are looking at rising inventory level and weaker sales in China market The current inventory level adjustment process in the entire supply chain is expected to last through the first quarter of 2015 If the excess inventory is effectively cleared, steady quarterly growth will resume in the second quarter at the earliest TrendForce projects that Chinese brand smartphone shipments worldwide are estimated to reach 531 million units with an annual growth of 172% in 2015 While the projected growth pales in comparison with the above 50% growth in 2014, Chinese brands are likely to represent six of the 2015 top ten smartphone makers in terms of shipments

Press Releases
TrendForce Acquires Topology as Both Aim to Expand Overseas and in China


Display / Energy / LED / Consumer Electronics / Semiconductors

TrendForce Corp, a global market intelligence firm, announced today (January 22) that it has become the majority shareholder of Topology Research Institute, with all the controlling stakeholder’s operating rights entailed Kevin Lin, the CEO of TrendForce, will also hold the title of Chairman of Topology Topology’s operations, brand, and managing staff will be under the same business model after the merger  “Market intelligence and intellectual property is a professional field with a bright future in an age dominated by high tech industries, Big Data, and the Internet,” said, Lin, Chairman of Topology and CEO of TrendForce Based in Taiwan, TrendForce has established itself as a recognized brand name endorsed and invested by technology giants and international investment banks “Our ability to have in-depth access to the global high tech supply chain and exert influences is the result of more than a decade of hard work,” Lin continued, “and I believe both firms will supplement and strengthen each other with this merger” With Topology joining TrendForce, TrendForce is now Taiwan’s biggest private research organization that specializes technology industries as well as one of the leading research firms in Asia TrendForce’s domestic and international clients in the near future can expect even more comprehensive industry analysis and consultation services  Founded in 2000, TrendForce has built up its position as the global authority of research and analysis on the DRAM industry starting with DRAMeXchange The company has further expanded its research fields to include Flash, LCD, LED, smartphones, solar energy, and consumer behaviors  TrendForce’s primary clients are internationally renowned brand names and major enterprises in China, including the triumvirate of the tech world – Apple, Google and Facebook Other global brand names that TrendForce has served include Intel, Microsoft, Samsung, Sony, Huawei, Lenovo, and many more Global investment firms, such as Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan, Mitsubishi UFJ and Credit Suisse, have also continuously retained TrendForce’s services The market intelligence generated by TrendForce are thus endorsed and acquired by these actors of the international market  Topology Research Institute was established in 1996 and has been primarily providing studies on the technology industries in Taiwan and China With Topology becoming part TrendForce, a staff of 250 analysts and managing personnel will be diligently covering technology, policy, and supply chain in the Greater China Region and the rest of the world In addition to assisting Taiwanese firms setting up in China and devising global strategies, TrendForce-Topology Alliance will build on TrendForce’s existing overseas client base and create a key investment bridge to the Greater China Region for foreign firms Both sides of the merger will be able to take advantage of each other’s talents and clientele while creating the market intelligence that the technology industries demand: comprehensive statistical reports, analyses, databases, and etc The mission of TrendForce and Topology is to become the knowledge gateway for companies expanding globally or in China  About Kevin Lin, founder and CEO of TrendForce Corp and Chairman of Topology Research Institute  Mr Lin received his BA in Computer Science and MBA at National Taiwan University (NTU) Lin is a pioneer in Taiwan’s e-commerce sector, beginning with his founding of NeoCom Technology in 1999 As the founder and CEO, Lin made NeoCom Technology the largest online B2C and C2C platform in Taiwan with uBidcomtw, a successful shopping and auction website In 2002, NeoCom Technology was acquired by eBay, which was the largest e-commerce company in the United States at the time  In 2000, Lin founded DRAMeXchange, a B2B e-commerce unit, and TrendForce, which under his supervision has become a globally recognized name in technology market research  About TrendForce  TrendForce is a research institution that provides in-depth market and industry consultation service as well as being a media platform for industry-related news Every year, TrendForce hosts several international seminars in Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, and Taipei Experts and leaders from high tech and emerging industries are gathered and invited to share their most recent findings in industry developments and market trends These annual conferences also provide a networking platform for high tech professionals looking to learn from each other and expand their businesses  TrendForce consists of five major research divisions: DRAMeXchange, WitsView, LEDinside, EnergyTrend and AVANTI Areas covered include DRAM, Flash, PC, smartphone, notebook, tablet, LCD TV, display panel, touchscreen technology, monitor-related industries, LED, lighting, solar energy, electric cars, lithium batteries, green energy industries, and online consumer behavior patterns in China TrendForce’s team has some of the most knowledgeable specialists in these fields, and their effective and multifaceted research methods combine the newest trends in technological developments with insightful information on vendors and buyers TrendForce also investigates targeted industries totally and at a global level, thus it is able to provide its clients the most comprehensive strategic business analyses  About Topology  Topology Technology was established in March 1996 and was one of the earliest professional providers of industry intelligence in Taiwan  In 2002, Topology was renamed Topology Research Institute (TRI) and expanded its range of services with a focus on structural trends in high tech industries within the Greater China Region Its five research divisions are semiconductor, photovoltaic technology, communication technology, IA, and regional markets Due to the growing influence of China’s IT sector on the rest of the word in the recent years, Topology established a subsidiary in Shanghai in 2006 as to be closer to its Chinese clientele The Shanghai office also provides international clients firsthand and in-depth analyses of China’s IT sector  Topology commands accurate information on industry and market trends across Europe, the United States, Japan, Korea, China, and Taiwan Its spot and dynamic analyses are specially tailored to the needs of the industries This advantage allows Topology to become the key instrument for enterprises seeking to improve their performances and expand 

Press Releases
TrendForce: Global smartphone shipments reach 310 million in third quarter as Apple’s market share grows 5%


Consumer Electronics

Global smartphone shipments grew 91% to reach 310 million units in the peak-season third quarter, buoyed by the iPhone 6 launch Apple’s market share expanded 5% on year, the most of any major handset brand The larger screen of the new iPhone was a decisive factor in Apple’s strong performance, said Avril Wu, an assistant vice president at TrendForce, a Taiwan-based market intelligence firm Among Chinese brands, shipments only grew slightly, but Huawei and Lenovo both performed respectably on the back of overseas sales  Apple rises, Samsung falls  Production went smoothly for ODM manufacturers in the third quarter, helping the iPhone 6 to surpass Apple’s shipments target of 735 million units to reach 80 million units The 47-inch model accounted for 70% of the shipments and the 55 inch 30% “Women prefer the 55-inch model, while men like the 47 inch size because it can fit in their pockets,” Wu said Despite some negative reviews of the iPhone 6 upon its launch, sales were unaffected and supply remains tight, she added  The third quarter was disappointing for Samsung The premium handset market overwhelmingly favored Apple, causing sales of the Samsung Galaxy S5 and Note 4 to stagnate Samsung’s less expensive handsets also sold poorly “China was once Samsung’s largest market, but it is now losing market share at the high end to Apple and in the lower tiers to Chinese brands, which offer better value and comparable performance,” Wu said As a result, Samsung only accounted for 30% of global smartphone shipments in the third quarter LG fared better, with 64% of the global smartphone market, surpassing Huawei to become the No 4 vendor globally  Lenovo and Huawei perform well, Xiaomi’s sales below forecast  China is the world’s most important smartphone market from the standpoint of both manufacturing and market size Yet Chinese brands underperformed in the third quarter because carriers cut subsidies, manufacturers shuffled their inventory and consumers held off on new handset purchases in anticipation of the iPhone 6 launch, said Alan Chen, a mobile analyst at TrendForce Huawei and Lenovo posted better results because of their larger presence in overseas markets, where sales were better in the third quarter than in China, Chen added  Meanwhile, subsidy cuts and competitors copying its marketing strategy hurt Xiaomi’s third-quarter sales Still, since some new Xiaomi models have been delayed, once they are launched in the fourth quarter, Xiaomi should reach its sales target for the year, Chen said  With the China smartphone market maturing, Chinese brands will be forced to look overseas for growth opportunities in the fourth quarter Given their adeptness at keeping prices down, they have performed the best in India, where consumers are highly price sensitive, of any emerging market India offers them excellent opportunities for growth because it has a relatively young population and smartphone penetration there is considerably lower than in China 

Press Releases
TrendForce: Philips Lighting Business Restructure Signals Challenges from Asian Manufacturers



Following the spin-off of Osram from Siemens, global lighting giant Philips recently announced it would split off its lighting business into a stand-alone company on September 23 That move follows an announcement in June that Philips would combine Lumileds, its LED components business and automotive lighting business into a separate company  Although Philips is a top player in the global lighting industry with the highest market penetration, the Dutch company’s earnings before interest, taxes and amortization (EBITA) have long been less than 10 percent for One reason for that is Asian manufacturers’ tenacity in the electronics and semiconductor industries, where they enjoy lower manufacturing costs and higher product cost/performance (C/P) ratios Additionally, Philips Lighting is gradually losing its market competitiveness with the rise of LED lighting  Job cuts to hit lighting industry  Philips’ restructuring may also result in significant job cuts The Philips Group has more than 113,000 employees worldwide, but its massive corporate structure has attracted much criticism in recent years Stifling bureaucracy in the company’s multi-level organizational structure has offset benefits from Philips’ economies of scales After Osram split from Siemens, the company underwent large-scale layoffs, and has slashed more than 10,000 jobs in the past year  Philips might also follow Osram’s example of implementing major job cuts after the lighting business restructure The Dutch firm estimated the new operating structure would enable cost savings of EUR 100 million in 2015, and a further EUR 200 million by 2016 The recent developments also indicate the lighting industry will be seeing a wave of career changers  Opportunities for Asian lighting OEMs to become Philips Lighting shareholders  Philips Lighting and Philips Lumileds might be independently listed on the bourse in the near future, and Philips has not ruled out introducing new investors to finance the new companies to alleviate the group’s financial risks The new stand-alone companies will develop independent decision-making mechanisms to enable quick responses to market activity  At the same time, Asian LED lighting manufacturers that have long been Philips OEM, component suppliers, or even direct competitors in lighting channels might become Philips shareholders in the future Once Philips issues stocks, these Asian manufacturers can share the fruits of Philips’ long years of labor  Few changes in LED supply chain in the near future  Regarding the LED industry’s top concern, there will be few changes in Philips Lighting supply chain in the near future, according to LEDinside Since 2013, the Philips Group has moved LED procurement decision rights to Philips Lumileds Ahead of the Philips Lumileds listing, there will be few changes in LED procurement strategies  Top Taiwanese and Chinese LED manufacturers are all members of Philips Lumileds supply chain, but restructuring in the chain is expected after new shareholders enter the new stand-alone Philips Lumileds and Philips Lighting companies

Press Releases
TrendForce: DRAM Industry Profits to Stabilize as Korean Manufacturers Slow Capacity Expansion in 2015



Construction of Samsung and SK Hynix's new fabrication plants will be finished in 2015, and next year's plans for manufacturing capacity are currently being changed, according to DRAMeXchange, a division of Taiwan-based market intelligence firm TrendForce The significant increase in capacity at Samsung's Line17 fab initially scheduled for the second quarter of 2015 was delayed Production will begin at 10K wafer starts per month in 2Q15 and increase gradually, reaching 40K wafer starts per month by the end of the year The incremental capacity increases will help stabilize profit structure and allow for immediate product mix adjustments However, the ratio of 20nm production is on the rise and the next-gen process is more complex than older technology As Samsung's older plants do not have room for new manufacturing equipment, capacity may decrease Thus, despite the extra capacity from Line17, reduced capacity at current fabs means Samsung's total capacity in 2015 will likely remain roughly the same as this year's, with yearly growth dependent on technology migration  SK Hynix's new M14 fab will also be completed in 2015, and equipment is expected to be moved in around the middle of the year The memory maker is in the same boat as its top competitor Indeed, as manufacturing difficulties increase with migration from the 25nm to the 21nm process, capacity will decrease at older plants, leading to no significant yearly capacity growth despite the addition of a new fab The 25nm process will remain SK Hynix's mainstream technology next year Advancement to the 21nm process will begin in mid-2015 at the earliest, and yearly growth will come from technology migration, not capacity expansion  Micron, with its strict cost control and profit-based strategy, does not have capacity expansion plans for 2015 Migration to the 20nm process next year will take place mainly at Inotera (commodity DRAM) and the Hiroshima fab (mobile DRAM), with no 20nm production at Micron Memory Taiwan With a risk-averse operational strategy, Micron is expected to experience the weakest growth among DRAM manufacturers next year As DRAM manufacturers are cautiously boosting manufacturing capacity, the industry should be able to avoid massive price fluctuations and see stable profit in 2015

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