Tripod Technology will have new production lines at its manufacturing site in Xiantao, China's Hubei province get ready for production in June, according to the Taiwan-based PCB manufacturer. Output at the site will be ramping up starting the second half of this year.
Taiwan's shipments of small- to medium-size LCD panels are expected to edge up 3.7% sequentially but decline 15% on year in the second quarter of 2021, after reaching 188 million units in the previous quarter, Digitimes Research estimates.
Backend service providers face as much as a 50% shortage of packaging materials from until June as a result of production issues at Japanese suppliers. MediaTek is prioritizing shipments for 5G chips, telling its Chinese handset clients that it is cutting output for 4G offerings amid tight foundry supply. Despite tight foundry capacity, TSMC has promised more support for the car industry. Demand for automotive chip probing services is expected to stay brisk throughout the year.
The four major subsidiaries of Samsung Electronics in Vietnam garnered revenues of US$63.25 billion in 2020, decreasing 4% from a year earlier, with their combined earnings sliding to US$3.8 billion from US$4.3 billion during the same period, according to local media reports.
Shipments of smartphone application processors for use by China-based handset vendors reached 212 million units in the first quarter of 2021, increasing 0.2% from a quarter earlier, according to data compiled by Digitimes Research.
Taiwan's 3D sensor, PA and VCM suppliers for iPhones are expected to revive their inventory-preparation momentum for new iPhones starting June following a slowdown in delivering shipments for the iPhone 12 series in April and May, according to industry sources.
China-based smartphone vendors saw their combined first-quarter 2021 shipments decline 9.7% sequentially to 191 million units, which, however, represented a sharp on-year increase of 73.8%, with the on-quarter fall also improving significantly from corresponding shrinkages of over 20% seen in pre-pandemic years, according to Digitimes Research.
MediaTek expects to post another sequential increase of 10-18% in revenues for the second quarter, with revenues to fall between NT$118.8-127.5 billion (US$4.22-4.53 billion) under the exchange rate of US$1 to NT$28.2.
Apple plans to release a new purple-colored iPhone 12 in the Taiwan market at the end of April, aiming to prolong the sales momentum of its iPhone 12 lineup in the local market, according to market sources.
The chance of mmWave chips mounting a major challenge to the title of being the leading 5G mobile solutions will remain until at least the second half of 2022 due to tight capacity at foundry houses, according to industry sources.
Unisoc is expected to roll out its new-generation 6nm 5G chip solution some time between late second-quarter and early third-quarter 2021, while Xiaomi and Oppo also have plans to introduce their in-house developed 5G solutions by the end of this year, according to industry sources.
Industry-wide shortage of foundry capacity has sent fabless IC design houses scrambling for support. They are now diversifying their foundry service suppliers in order to secure support. Foundry houses and fabless IC firms may be eager to increase their spending on capacity expansions or R&D, but backend services firms are more conservative, giving priority to raising capacity utilization and expanding capacity for mature processes. But Taiwanese backend firms are helping Apple develop dual-band 5G AiP modules that may be featured in upcoming iPhones.
Global smartphone wholesale revenue will increase 13% on year in 2021, the highest revenue growth in six years, according to Strategy Analytics. Despite the economic uncertainty and dented consumer confidence caused by the coronavirus, the market will be able to bounce back this year on the back of the iPhone 12 super cycle and the migration to 5G globally.
Demand for mmWave AiP modules is set to pick up significantly in the second half of 2021 as Apple is expected to boost the adoption of such modules in its new Phones, which in turn will drive up shipments of BT-based AiP substrates from main suppliers, according to industry sources.
Apple is stepping up development its own dual-band 5G AiP (antenna in package) module, which, along with Qualcomm's solutions, may be featured in its next-generation iPhones, according to industry sources.
Apple is expected to soon unveil a miniLED-backlit iPad Pro, and its miniLED supply chain is ready to expand shipments, having improved yield rates. In the semiconductor sector, supply for packaging tools has been extremely tight, with equipment vendors reluctant to expand production, wary of possibly a lurking bubble in the market. And MediaTek is keen to maintain its leadership in the 5G phone market segment. The IC vendor has stepped up purchases of BT substrates for use in its 5G mobile SoCs to make sure it has enough supply.
Tight capacity at foundry houses, coupled with shortages of some crucial components such as CMOS sensors, power management and driver ICs, could affect sales of individual handset brands in 2021, according to industry observers.