Sales of smartphones in India in the second quarter in 2021 declined by 13% on quarter as the country battles through resurgences of COVID-19. Sales were still up on year; online stores were rapidly installed after the pandemic hit last year. As vaccines rolled out at the end of the second quarter, Chinese vendors turn more optimistic about sales in the coming months.
After the peak of component crunch in the second quarter along with insufficient inventory in the third quarter, stress of stagnant deliverables on the highway seems to have been relieved. A consensus of the supply chain is to let the manufacturers breathe. The fourth quarter is in line with the traditional off-season, and the days should be easier. From foundries to IC design houses, Taiwanese manufacturers are in the limelight now. DIGITIMES Asia has noted in its reports that the foundry sector is now a seller's market with strong demand to last in end of 2022. Such messages are based on dynamic changes in demand-supply status of IT industry from the most upstream of the supply chain. Component shortages and component cannibalization require long-term rolling tracking. DIGITIMES Asia has been making dynamic adjustments to its views in line with rolling forecasts.
5G subscriptions are growing at a rate of about one million per day. 5G is expected to become the fastest adopted mobile generation in history, compared to 4G LTE. It is estimated that by the end of 2021, 5G subscriptions will reach 580 million, according to the Ericsson Mobility Report 2021. However, the penetration rate of 5G in Asia still varies greatly from country to country and now many countries are aiming to win in this 5G rollout competition.
Chip shortage gas been serious, but Apple and carmakers are both asking for more ICs, the former looking to secure supply for its upcoming devices and the latter to prevent dirsuptions to their productions. Chinese IC designers are seeking more advanced manufacturing support from TSMC for their AI and HPC chips. Taiwan-based server makers are keen on expanding production capacity to meet strong demand.
Apple has stepped up its chip purchases for the upcoming iPhones, while first-tier automotive component vendors in the supply chains of carmakers in Japan are also vying for more available ICs, according to industry sources.
While Apple is expected to have at least its new iPhone Pro series for 2021 feature ToF-based LiDAR scanners, some Android handset vendors including China's Honor are poised to resume adoption of ToF cameras for their new flagship models, according to industry sources.
Strong demand and tight capacity are pushing up foundry serivce quotes. Major Taiwan-based foundry houses are expected to report record-high sales in third-quarter 2021. The overall handset market may be weak, but 5G smartphone demand is picking up. Smartphone chip vendors expect their sales to be fueled by 5G offerings in third-quarter 2021. Servers are also gearing up for the 5G edge computing boom.
Most Taiwan-based IC design houses are poised to see their revenues grow at least 10% sequentially in the third quarter of 2021, bolstered by a pick-up in chip orders for 5G smartphones, according to industry sources.
A Canalys report indicating Xiaomi outraced Apple to become the world's second largest smartphone vendor in the second quarter of 2021 is tantamount to announcing that the Chinese vendor is the biggest winner in grabbing market share relinquished by Huawei due to the US trade sanctions.
China, which has been relying heavily on semiconductor imports, is keen to improve it IC self-sufficiency. But DIGITIMES Asia president Colley Hwang thinks the key for China is to keep the momentum for its economic growth. Apple reportedly will introduce the third-generation iPhone SE series in first-half 2022 adopting A14 Bionic, creating opportunities for its semiconductor supply chain. Thanks to WFH deeds, MIS has expects its shipments for IT devices to stay strong in 2021.
Apple reportedly is set to roll out its third-generation iPhone SE series in the first half of 2022, providing new business opportunities for chip probing specialists including TSMC subsidiary Xintec, according to industry sources.
Global handset shipments are expected to return to the growth track in the third quarter of the year with an estimated sequential increase of 10-15%, but the actual growth may be affected by shortages of certain components, according to industry sources.
The popularity of Bluetooth LBS (location based service) apps is rising as the related applications can be used for direction-tracking or as electronic fences to trace and analyze the footprints of confirmed COVIC-19 cases, helping curb the spread of the coronavirus, Digitimes Research has found.
TSMC is mulling setting up more fabs overseas, apart from its exsiting facility in Nanjing, China and the one being built in the US. TSMC is looking at building new fabs in Japan and Germany for 28nm and 12/16nm chip output. Apple is keen on adopting miniLED backlighting for its devices, and is likely to add China-based Luxshare as a second supplier of SMT services for miniLED BLUs. Meanwhile, notebook component suppliers are turning cautious about building up inventory amid mixed signals about the notebook market's outlook.
Robust shipments of notebooks, motherboards and graphics cards boosted Asustek Computer's consolidated revenues to a 55-month high of NT$47.95 billion (US$1.71 billion) in June 2021. Consolidated sales for the second quarter of 2021 came to NT$128.1 billion, rising 39% on year and beating the company's estimate.