As Huawei's Executive Director and CEO of the Consumer Business Group, Richard Yu, loudly declared in early August that "Huawei's flagship smartphones are making a comeback," the announcement has led to speculations of Huawei's imminent return to 5G smartphone market.
As 2023 becomes the year for large language models (LLMs), Lei Jun, Chairman and CEO of Xiaomi, emphasized recently that fully embracing LLMs is Xiaomi's upcoming strategy. Enabling LLMs to run on mobile terminals is a key focus for Xiaomi's invitation-only internal testing phase. Xiaomi's top executives also indicated that achieving AI capabilities through large models on mobile devices will be realized soon.
Smartphone shipments to the China market came to 62.8 million units in the second quarter of 2023, edging upward 0.6% from a quarter ago and decreasing 2.2% from a year ago, according to DIGITIMES Research's latest figures from the report covering China's smartphone market.
Bloomberg quoted sources saying that Foxconn is beginning the production of the iPhone 15 in its facility in Sriperumbudur, Tamil Nadu, with the delivery timeline only weeks after that of Foxconn's factories in China. Besides Foxconn, Pegatron and a Wistron plant acquired by Tata will join the ranks of assembling iPhone 15 in India.
According to DIGITIMES Research's statistics and analyses, second-quarter 2023 smartphone shipments by China-based smartphone vendors exhibited a 7.4% on-quarter growth but a 6.1% on-year decline. In the second half of 2023, China-based smartphone vendors are expected to step up their inventory preparation ahead of Singles' Day in China. Moreover, with overseas markets entering the strong season, smartphone shipments by China-based vendors are estimated to exhibit a single-digit growth consecutively for two quarters straight, according to DIGITIMES Research's latest figures from the China smartphone industry report.
Samsung Electronics, Xiaomi, Honor, and Oppo all have plans to release new Android smartphones in the second half of 2023, pinning their hopes on the possibility that the new models will contribute to the year's total unit sales growth.
According to Omdia, smartphone shipments totaled 265,9 million units in the second quarter of 2023. This represents a decline of 9.5% compared to the previous year and a decrease of 1.2% compared to the previous quarter.
The US government announced in mid-July 2023 that it will introduce a cybersecurity seal, dubbed the "US Cyber Trust Mark," for Internet of things (IoT) devices. The seal is intended to help consumers purchase trusted devices that are less vulnerable to hacking by labeling them as compliant with security standards. It is reported that the initiative will initially focus on home IoT devices and is expected to be launched in 2024.
Despite the generally pessimistic outlook for smartphone market demand growth in 2023, with high-end models becoming the preference for consumers, it has certainly brought a spark of warmth to a smartphone industry that's still going through an economic winter.
SK Hynix's LPDDR5 Turbo (LPDDR5T) memory has completed performance verification for use with MediaTek's upcoming next-generation mobile SoC, which is slated for release later this year, according to the memory chipmaker.
Micromax, an India-based mobile phone vendor and once the top smartphone brand in India, has failed to make a comeback despite ongoing efforts and is reportedly eyeing the rising electric two-wheeler market.
Sony Group Corp., the dominant supplier of camera sensors for smartphones, is pushing back expectations for a smartphone market recovery to 2024 at the earliest after gauging worsening demand from China and the US.
Samsung Electronics' newly unveiled foldable phones Galaxy Fold5/Flip5, as well as Galaxy Tab S9 series are all equipped with the Qualcomm's "Snapdragon 8 Gen2 for Galaxy" APs, which have been customized for the Korean tech giant's Galaxy devices. This has sparked market concerns about the resulting advantages and disadvantages for both parties, as well as possible motives behind the collaboration.
Mobile phones, tablets, and wearable devices differ significantly in their shipment performance and recovery momentum in the Taiwan market. In particular, mobile phones sales are expected to return to the growth track in the second half of the year on the launch of new devices by brand vendors, with shipments to be split 4:6 between the first and second halves, according to market sources.
In June 2023, China electronics giant Huawei reportedly collected licensing fees for its patented technologies from around 30 Japanese companies. According to sources, patent fees have become a crucial factor in Huawei's ability to maintain operations and profitability amidst the US sanctions. There were even rumors that Huawei plans to enhance its patent fee collection in Southeast Asia. In July, Huawei publically announced the standard fees for its 4G, 5G, and Wi-Fi 6 patents, further fueling the discussions on patent fees.
Asia Pacific spending on the Internet of things (IoT) is forecasted to be US$277.5 billion in 2023, an increase of 11% over 2022, according to IDC's latest Worldwide Semiannual Internet of Things Spending Guide.
Chinese smartphone brand OnePlus, originally slated to launch its first foldable phone, the OnePlus Open, in the third quarter of the year, reportedly will postpone the release due probably to changing its panel supplier from BOE Technology to Samsung Display (SDC).
Apple reported declining sales for the past quarter, indicating a dwindling smartphone demand. Apple attributed it partly to foreign exchange fluctuations and said the company broke the Service business records.
Many smartphone manufacturers are eager to leverage artificial intelligence (AI) to gain a competitive edge over their rivals. This includes companies like Apple, Samsung Electronics, Huawei, Honor, Vivo, and others. In recent months, they have all emphasized the importance of AI applications and have acknowledged that integrating large language models (LLM) into smartphones will become a trend.
Japan-based Rohm Semiconductor saw its operating profits decline by 21.5% in April–June 2023. Its automotive sales increased by 14.9% year-over-year, the only segment that enjoyed growth. President and CEO Isao Matsumoto had said Rohm will continue investing in SiC technology while it contains risks.