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Taiwan component makers match demand from smartphones

The island’s strong supply chain and competitive production costs are expected to attract large international players and generate more business.

Taiwan component manufacturers are gearing up for a projected demand upswing driven by the robust smartphone industry. They expect the island’s strong supply chain and competitive production costs to attract large international players to subcontract assembly of entry-level and midrange handsets, which will generate more business opportunities for the upstream sector.

Sub-$150 cell phones will account for 5 percent of worldwide smartphone shipment volume by year-end, according to Market Intelligence & Consulting Institute. The figure is forecast to reach 17 percent by 2016. Intermediate counterparts will have about 12 percent share, climbing to 26 percent next year. Variants below $300 will represent more than 40 percent of exports in the next five years. Products in these price categories currently yield less than 10 percent profit, while upscale models surpass 20 percent.

In preparation for more orders, Taiwan IC makers such as MediaTek and MStar are enhancing efficiency by adopting advanced techniques such as the 40nm process. The former’s model MT6573 3G chipset is adopted in the Lenovo A60 smartphone, a quadband Android handset with a 650MHz processor and 3G/HSPA modem. MediaTek has also released the MT6575 model, which uses an Arm Cortex-A9 1GHz processor.

The island has numerous IC packaging companies, with Siliconware, King Yuan and Sigurd among the major ones. There are also touch panel chip providers such as Elan, ITE, ILI and eGalax, and TFT and LTPS panel driver IC makers Orise, Novatek and Sitronix.

Taiwan likewise boasts a strong PCB manufacturing sector. For HDI and flexible kinds, the leading players are FLEXium, Unimicron, Career Technology, Zhen Ding, Sunflex, Gold Circuit, Ichia and Uniflex. Unitech, WUS, Tripod Technology, Nan Yan and Compeq also belong to this segment.

In addition, Taiwan’s supply chain encompasses touch sensors and lenses. Genius, Newmax, Kinko and Largan provide the last.

Audio components such as microspeakers and microphones also abound. The major makers include Merry Electronics, Cotron, Yungtech, Kingstate, Fortune, Ariose, Lish and Maxtronic. They offer electret condenser and MEMS microphones, which are widely adopted in smartphones.

In the touch panel segment, TPK, Wintek, J Touch and Young Fast top the list, while Ichia and Silitech dominate keypad modules. The last company, together with Ways Technical and Catcher, provide casing and surface finish services.

Cell phonecamera modules are available from 20 to 30 enterprises, including Foxconn, Ability, Lite-On and Primax.

Note: This article "Taiwan component makers match demand from smartphones" was originally published by Global Sources, a leading business-to-business media company and a primary facilitator of trade with China manufacturers and India suppliers, providing essential sourcing information to volume buyers through our e-magazines, trade shows and industry research.

All price quotes in this report are in US dollars unless otherwise specified. FOB prices were provided by the companies interviewed only as reference prices at the time of interview and may have changed.

Disclaimer: All product images are provided by the companies interviewed and are for reference purposes only. Those product images featuring products with trademarks, brand names or logos are not intended for sale. We, our affiliates, and our affiliates' respective directors, officers, employees, representatives, agents or contractors, do not accept and will not have any responsibility or liability for product images (or any part thereof) which infringe on any intellectual property or other rights of a third party.

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