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Press Releases
TrendForce Compuforum 2015: Smartphone Upgrades Initiates Competition for Better Specs in Key Mobile Components

2015/06/05

Telecommunications , Display , Consumer Electronics +1

Global research firm TrendForce will be hosting “Compuforum 2015” with Taipei Computer Association and TechNews at the 4th floor VIP Room of Taipei International Convention Center on June 5, 2015 as part of the Computex Taipei 2015 Top analysts assembled from three of TrendForce’s research divisions – DRAMeXchange, WitsView and Topology – will be presenting their latest research on the key components of mobile devices and communication technology The conference will also feature guest speakers from tech giants SanDisk, Qualcomm, Intel, Broadcom and ARM Together these experts will provide authoritative analyses and latest industry intelligence Compuforum 2015 will be a great opportunity for its participants to exchange information on market and technological developments for the second half of 2015 Below is the summarized content of the conference:  DRAMeXchange: Mobile device specs advance with mobile DRAM becoming memory industry’s profit engine  As a result of a recent seismic shift in demand, mobile DRAM has formally surpassed PC DRAM as the mainstream product of the industry DRAMeXchange’s analysis shows the representation of mobile DRAM in the total production continues to increase and is projected to reach a CAGR of 36% during the 2011-2020 period, overtaking the 24% CAGR of server DRAM and the negative growth rate of PC DRAM DRAMeXchange additionally expects a near 40% yearly increase in the bit growth demand of mobile DRAM for 2015 With PC DRAM prices continuing to decline, mobile DRAM manufacturing will achieve greater profitability than PC DRAM manufacturing in this year’s third quarter In sum, mobile DRAM is set to become primary product type that will ensure a steady margin for DRAM makers  DRAMeXchange’s Assistant Vice President Avril Wu sees plenty of room for mobile DRAM demand growth despite the gradual saturation of the smartphone market Though smartphone shipments will have a yearly growth of just 116% in 2015, the ongoing software and hardware upgrades in other products will fuel the demands for mobile DRAM These devices and components include digital cameras, display screen resolutions, AP chipsets, multicore processors, and operating systems The next-generation iPhone, for instance, has upgraded its memory to 2GB LPDDRR4 as it sets to become the biggest highlight in the smartphone market for the second half of this year Other smartphone vendors will soon follow Apple’s lead and equip their flagship models with 3GB or 4GB mobile DRAM products Though LPDDR4 is presently limited to high-end smartphones, DRAMeXchange anticipates its application will steadily become widespread in 2016, extending to mid-range smartphones By the early 2017, LPDDR4 will become the market mainstream and be carried in devices outside of the smartphone category  WitsView: Competition in the mobile display market heats up as it moves towards higher resolution  The development of the smartphone market has plateaued after many years of high growth, and the year-on-year shipment growth for 2015 is expected to slow down According to WitsView’s Senior Research Director Eric Chiou, the diminished shipment volume suggests that raising the product’s quality will be crucial to making further progress in the smartphone market WitsView’s latest research indicates smartphones with screens sized 5 inches and above will increase their share relative to other screen sizes this year, accounting for over half of the product mix for the first time at 501% The trend towards high resolution displays is also underway, and more than a quarter of all mobile devices will have Full HD or better specs for their displays this year, reaching to 256%  Recent surveys of panel makers indicate Japanese companies will remain dominant as the mobile display market heats up due to their advantages in client base and technology Their positions in the mid-range and high-end panel segments will be difficult to challenge China is disrupting the already oversupplied small-size panel market with large-scale investments in the LTPS technology At the same time, Korean panel makers are strengthening their AMOLED product lines as to tap into a less saturated market while leaving the fiercely contested LCD market As for Taiwanese manufacturers, which mainly produce a-Si panels, their survival under the combined offensive from Japanese, Korean and Chinese competitors will be the market’s focus in the near future  Topology: Smartwatches become the focus of the wearable industry and Apple will define the course of their competition  As market for wearable tech is entering its third year of development, its main products are still wrist-worn devices The market entry of the Apple Watch will spur the shipments of smartwatches to exceed smartband shipments Based on Topology’s analysis, approximately 26 million sets of smartwatches will be shipped in 2015, with 15 million of them being the Apple Watch Thus, the Apple Watch will dominate with 57% of the market share  As Apple establishes a commanding lead in the smartwatch market, its products will certainly be closely studied and imitated by competing brands According to Topology’s wearable device analyst Jason Tsai, however, wearable devices compete differently with smartphones Smartphones differentiation leads to spec upgrades and matchups For wearable devices like Apple Watch, their core values are about being a platform capable of providing a range of functions and services, rather than simply having the most advanced hardware The bar is therefore set very high for Apple’s wearable competitors when it comes to creating a rival for the Apple Watch Furthermore, the competition in the wearable market will move away from the traditional hardware-oriented contests to the more service-oriented challenges 

Press Releases
Specs Become Market Focus as Next-Gen iPhone Set for Mass Production in June, Says TrendForce

2015/05/21

Telecommunications , Semiconductors , LED +2

The beginning of 2015 was excellent for Apple as the sales of iPhone 6 and iPhone 5S remained strong The total shipment of iPhones in the first quarter was over 60 million units, exceeding the market expectations As the second quarter is drawing to a close, the smartphone market shifts its attention to the next-generation iPhone (iPhone 6S or iPhone 7) Interests on the next iPhone's future sales results are growing as more information about its specs have been leaked to the public  According to the latest reporting by the global research firm TrendForce, both the 47-inch and 55-inch versions of the next iPhone will enter mass production in June They will be shipped in the third quarter, with the quarterly shipments projected to reach 24 million units By the fourth quarter, the next iPhone will be released in greater quantities with the estimated quarterly shipments surpassing 50 million The new model will help drive the 2015 shipments of all iPhones to go over 230 million, resulting in a yearly shipment growth of 20% The next iPhone is also estimated to represent more than 35% of this year’s total iPhone shipments  Major upgrades made to the new model's mobile DRAM and unit memory capacity  The biggest highlight for the next iPhone is the mobile DRAM upgrade from LPDDR3 to LPDDR4 The memory capacity per iPhone has also doubled from 1GB to 2GB With the new model scheduled for shipments in the third quarter, Apple’s main mobile DRAM suppliers Samsung and SK Hynix are going to set aside capacities for LPDDR4 production Using the capacities of 25nm or 20nm processes as references, the next iPhone with its 2GB of memory will effectively consume an additional 20K wafers per month compared with its 1GB predecessors With the total worldwide DRAM capacity at 1,080K wafers per month, around an additional 2% of it will be given to the production of the next iPhone’s memory  The next iPhone is very likely to have its minimum storage capacity raised from 16GB to 32GB, so their storage options would range from 32GB and 64GB to 128GB It is expected that TLC-based NAND flash will be carried on the 64GB and 128GB versions, which TrendForce estimates will also make up over 50% of this year’s next-generation iPhone shipments TrendForce further finds that owing to the drive from the next-generation models, approximately 18% of all NAND flash consumption this year will come from iPhones  Force Touch will be Apple’s key technology in touch sensor development  There is a strong possibility that the next iPhone will feature Apple’s “Force Touch” technology, which is a pressure-sensitive touch module that produce different commands and feedbacks depending on how long or hard the user presses the touchscreen The Force Touch module will be a notable improvement in the smartphone touch displays as it adds many potential functions The design of this new touch technology is likely to have a flexible printed circuit (FPC) that is located under the LCD module to control the sensor The US-based Analog Devices Inc is the expected candidate supplier of the next iPhone’s Force Touch sensor ICs, which will come with a firmware designed by Apple  Force Touch requires the support from apps in order to maximize its functional relevance Even if this technology is available on the next iPhone, it might not offer noticeable improvements in user experience due to the lack of supporting apps Nonetheless, Force Touch represents an important milestone in Apple’s innovation in the touch sensor technology, and whether it will appear on the iPhone and iPad series is going to be a topic closely followed by the market watchers  LED backlight gets smaller for a lighter and thinner body  Apple stays with its Japanese suppliers for the LED chips used in the next iPhone's backlight Due to the popular demand for lighter and thinner phones, the next iPhone is also going to see a size reduction for its backlight LED package, from 06t (30 x 085 x 06mm) to 04t (30 x 085 x 04mm) However, a smaller size package means that each LED package will have its brightness reduced by about 10% Therefore, an additional two to three LEDs will be needed in the module to compensate for the loss in brightness As for the next iPhone’s camera flash LED, its design will still be based on the dual-flash LED technology, which uses two LEDs of different color temperatures to create a more natural light when shooting     TrendForce, Taipei Computer Association, and TechNews proudly present Compuforum 2015 on June 5, during the week of Computex Taipei 2015, at the 4th floor VIP room of the Taipei International Convention Center This year seminar, titled “The Future of Mobile Devices: Key Components and Communication Technology”, will feature the latest industry research by top analysts from TrendForce’s research divisions – DRAMeXchange, WitsView, and Topology Honored guest speakers from global tech giants SanDisk, Qualcomm, ARM, Intel, and Broadcom will also be there to share their thoughts with the attendees on the latest trends and future development in mobile solutions Topics that will be discussed at the forum include chips, memory, display panel, wireless communication, and wearable devices 

Press Releases
Overall Notebook Shipments Declined by 17.5% in Q1 with Lenovo Taking Top Vendor Title, TrendForce Reports

2015/05/21

Consumer Electronics

TrendForce’s latest research reveals the notebook shipments for the first quarter of 2015 posted a significant quarterly decline of 175%, with 3843 million units shipped One usual factor to the drop in shipments was seasonality The other factor was the earlier-than-usual stock up efforts at the end of 2014, which led to a sharp rise in panel stocks and channel inventories In the brand shipment rankings for the first quarter, Lenovo became the leader for the first time with 784 million units shipped (excluding products under its acquired brand) HP was pushed down to second place with 742 million units shipped  TrendForce points out that with the launching of new notebooks in the second quarter, every brand will work hard to raise their sales figures for the first half of 2015 as to compensate for the disappointing first quarter results The second quarter notebook shipments are therefore expected to grow by 7~8% quarterly Nonetheless, some of the market demand have already been taken away by the low-price notebooks that dominated last year’s markets Furthermore, the market drive caused by Microsoft’s Windows 10 and Intel’s new CPU may only have a moderate effects on notebook sales On the whole, TrendForce expects brand vendors will have a challenging year as the replacement demand will be quite weak  Vendors suffered severe negative shipment growths in the first quarter with Apple and HP having the biggest declines at around 30%  Lenovo took the crown of top notebook brand with a much smaller shipment decline of 77% relative to its competitors The main reason for Lenovo’s success was that its primary markets, China and North America, were not caught up in currency depreciation Other brands were not as fortunate and their profits were eroded by weak exchange rates  The longtime number one vendor HP shipped 104 million units in the fourth quarter of 2014, which represented its biggest quarterly shipment since 2010 Even with this impressive record, HP was unable to escape from the seasonality effects during the first quarter of 2015 Compared with the previous quarter, HP suffered a steep 285% decline in notebook shipments in the first quarter despite making efforts to turn sales around in March HP retreated to second place in ranking while Dell, which was also experiencing weak front-end demands, stayed at third with a 138% quarterly decline in shipments  Taiwan-based Acer and Asus have been focusing on Europe and emerging markets, thus their sales were severely affected by the currency depreciations of those markets Set against the previous quarter, Acer and Asus’s notebook shipments for the first quarter of 2015 fell by 128% and 24% respectively  The first quarter has usually been the off-peak season for Apple’s notebook shipments Moreover, the new 12-inch MacBook and upgraded MacBook Air and Pro series did not make substantial contributions to Apple’s notebook sales until the second quarter Consequently, Apple saw its first quarter shipment plummeted by 305% compared with the prior quarter  As for Korean-based Samsung and Japan’s Toshiba, their fixed small monthly shipments indicate that they are gradually withdrawing from the notebook market due to the immense competitive pressures   

Press Releases
Surge of 4K Panel Shipments in April Reflects Switch in Strategy for TV Brand Vendors, Says TrendForce

2015/05/15

Display

The newest display panel shipment report from WitsView, a division of TrendForce, reveals that the combined shipments of the six largest panel makers in April totaled 1968M units, an 8% monthly decline but a 54% increase compared with the same period of the previous year Among them, only SDC maintained about the same shipment level as with the previous month, whereas the other five saw shipment decline On the whole, there were no noteworthy changes in the monthly total shipment volume with the exception of TV vendors stocking up 4K panels  WitsView’s shipment forecast for the second quarter finds the overall result from the Chinese Labor Day sales in China fell short of expectation Nonetheless, the excess panel capacity is being consumed by TV brand vendors stocking up 4K and large-size panels Furthermore, the yield rate differences among Gen 85 fabs has eased the concern of panel oversupply In sum, the overall shipment performance in the second quarter will be determined mainly by the results of 4K and large-size panels rather than the total shipment volume  And in the case of April’s 4K panel shipments, the six largest panel makers shipped a combined total of 31M units The penetration rate of the 4K panels in the overall panel market in April reached 16%, a 44% increase compared with March The changing product strategies from the TV brand vendors moreover drove the 4K panel market, where SDC enjoyed an outstanding 25% in brand penetration in April LGD, AUO, and Innolux by contrast saw 15% in their respective brand penetration WitsView’s analysis indicates that since the start 2015, international TV brands have shifted their focus to innovative and high-margin products with value-added features Consequently, large-size and UHD TVs are given more importance in their strategies A review of April’s 4K panel shipments by the six largest panel makers shows the 55-inch is still the most demanded size category with a monthly shipment increase of 35% 4K panels sized 48 inches, 49 inches, and 65 inches also posted impressive monthly growths of 208%, 345%, and 5% respectively 

Press Releases
TrendForce Says Global LCD TV Shipments Totaled 51.4M in Q1; Samsung and LGE Remains Top Vendors

2015/04/29

Consumer Electronics

The global shipments of LCD TVs in the first quarter of 2015 totaled 514M units, according to the latest report from WitsView, a division of TrendForce This figure translates to a quarterly decline of 24% In addition to the first quarter being an off-peak season, there were other forces causing the shipment decline One factor was the lowering of spending power in Europe and the emerging markets due to the depreciation of their currencies The saturation of China’s domestic market was also another important reason  Samsung and LGE were still number one and two in the global LCD TV shipment rankings for the first quarter, with respectively 204% and 146% of the market shares The positions of the two top Korean brands have been solid even though they did not engage in aggressive promotional activities during the off-season Going forward, Samsung and LGE intend to secure their rankings with a strong product lineup Both have launched small-size, economical models and will be raising the shares of large-size and 4K models in their respective product mixes In the high-end market, the two top vendors are also aggressively promoting products based on the quantum dot technology  China-based vendors TCL and Hisense were in third and fourth place in the first quarter shipment rankings with 69% and 64% of the market shares They together have managed to push the Japanese electronics giant Sony down to the fifth spot The shipments of these Chinese brands were propped up by domestic demands generated during the Chinese New Year holidays Moreover, their overseas shipments were generally steady and unaffected by the changes in the global exchange rates On the whole, the Chinese brands saw their market shares edged up a bit compared with the previous year’s fourth quarter  Sony performed well in 2014, but it has decided to modify its strategy for 2015 The company is now focused on high-end and niche markets rather than pursuing shipment growths for their own sake Sony’s shipments in first quarter of this year reflected this strategy adjustment, and it ranked fifth place with 56% of the market share  WitsView’s second quarter outlook for the LCD TV market is toward the conservative side, with the projected quarterly shipment growth of just around 2% Samsung and LGE has revised their shipments downward as the euro and the Russian ruble remain relatively weak in the short term Furthermore, the market drive created by this year’s Chinese Labor Day sales is expected to pale in comparison with the past years’ 

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