The market landscape of China's foldable smartphone market is undergoing major changes. Current market leaders Huawei and Samsung Electronics have seen their market shares decline. In contrast, Honor and Oppo have seen significant market share increases. In particular, Oppo has achieved rapid growth in 2023 through its Find N3 series, and its success is reportedly driven by a former Samsung employee.
The global top-5 notebook brands, not including Apple, saw their combined shipments decelerate in October and slip 20% month-on-month after their keen shipments in September for the peak season. However, volumes rose 3% year-on-year, according to the latest figures from DIGITIMES Research's monthly notebook update report.
China, in an attempt to counter the external narrative of "supply chain relocation" and "decoupling," made a significant move by hosting the inaugural China International Supply Chain Expo ("Chain Expo") in Beijing. Several Apple's suppliers attended together to demonstrate Apple's commitment to deepening its roots in China and showcasing the strength of local suppliers.
Global notebook shipments performed better than expected in the third quarter of 2023. After enjoying an over 20% sequential increase in the second quarter, the volumes went up further by 2.1% in the third, but the shipments will then slip 7.3% in the fourth quarter due to high channel inventory and a high comparison base in the third quarter, according to DIGITIMES Research's latest figures from the quarterly notebook report covering the second half of 2023.
Growing demand for artificial intelligence (AI), high-performance computing (HPC), and automotive electronics is expected to fuel Taiwan's export growth in 2024, according to Taiwan's Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS).
Samsung Electronics' smartphone business faced intense competition worldwide in 2023. It's estimated that there will be a decrease in the number of countries where it holds the top market share compared to 2022. Despite that, it has made gains in places like India and Malaysia.
The tech industry's main driver in 2024 will be AI, according to the leaders of industry heavyweights Quanta and Acer. Quanta chairman Barry Lam gave the opening keynote at the 6th MedTex Summit Asia on November 30, while Acer chairman Jason Chen gave remarks after attending Acer Medical's press event at the 7th Healthcare Expo. Both leaders expressed their confidence in AI and AI PCs.
Everyone in the PC industry is talking about AI PCs, but what defines an AI PC? Opinions differ on this question. For HP CEO Enrique Lores, AI PCs will allow users to run originally cloud-based AI functions at the terminal end. Meanwhile, Lenovo chairman Yang Yuanqing sees AI PCs as possessing user-centric local intelligence, faster computational power, and more natural interactions. Acer chairman and CEO Jason Chen believes that the term denotes a shift in usage patterns from "search" to "ask," and usage patterns will be a more crucial factor than hardware specs in drawing consumer interest.
Dell Senior Global VP Shirley Wu clarified rumors that Dell is "withdrawing its supply chain from China" and is carrying out "de-Sinicization." In China, Dell underwent the most severe PC shipment decline among all major brands in the second quarter of this year, at 52%. The overall market decline in the same period was 19%, according to market research firm Canalys.
With the recent signing of the new Downing Street Accord by South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, both countries are poised for a new era of technological cooperation. In particular, the UK's possession of crucial quantum computing technologies has the potential to create a synergistic relationship with South Korea, a global semiconductor powerhouse.
The prolonged chaos in semiconductor inventory management seems to be nearing its end, with only a few applications affected by the situation. Most industry players reckon that this matter will end this year, and favorable factors in 2024 will bring the industry back on track.
Taiwanese computer manufacturer Asustek Computer joined Chinese CPU designer Loongson Technology on stage as it announced the Loongson 3A6000, which it says is made entirely in China, during a product release event in Beijing on November 28.
In the second half of 2023, Chinese smartphone brands began to launch foldable smartphones one after the other, which squeezed the market space for Samsung Electronics. Recently, many predictions believe that Samsung's foldable smartphone sales in 2023 will be lower than expected, and the sales for 2024 will be around a similar level.
Among all regions in the world, the Middle East and Africa are leading the recovery in consumer demands for smartphone shipment with Chinese vendors Transsion and Realme being the out-performers in that region.
Despite witnessing substantial revenue and profit growth in India in recent years, analysts predict a downturn in sales for most Apple products in the country, except for the iPhone. This trend differs from the smartphone market, where a shift towards premiumization did not occur in the notebook, tablet, and wearable sectors.
Japan's government-funded AI research supercomputer, ABCI (AI Bridging Cloud Infrastructure), which was launched in 2018 and upgraded to ABCI 2.0 in 2021, is poised for another significant upgrade. The current investment plan of JPY400 billion (US$2.66 billion) aims to increase computing power to five times that of ABCI 2.0, with an expected launch by 2024.
Thermal solution manufacturer ADDA has successfully transitioned its business strategy, with the company's highly volatile IT products division now accounting for mere single-digit percentages of total revenue, down from a high of 70%, said general manager Liu Ming-Hsiung at the company's earnings call on November 22. As ADDA now aims for higher profit instead of revenue, gross profit margin across the first three quarters of 2023 is set to top 30%, even though total revenue fell 12.93% year-on-year.
The PC market is bottoming out and will start recovering in the fourth quarter of 2023, according to IC distributor GMI Technology, which also expressed optimism about demand for AI PCs and other emerging devices in 2024.
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and South Korean president Yoon Suk Yeol recently announced at a public forum at Stanford University that Japan, South Korea, and the US would cooperate on quantum computing and establish a joint production and supply system for hydrogen and ammonia energy.
Global opportunities in the generative AI (GenAI) application market have exploded with the rise of ChatGPT, leading to a substantial increase in demand for AI-related hardware and software. While the establishment of cloud data centers presents a lucrative opportunity, the long-term trajectory of the hardware and software industry remains uncertain. From hardware and software, who are the ones that are capable of reaping the largest benefits from the GenAI trend?
The regional supply chain transfer and restructuring driven by the US-China tech war can be somewhat observed in the latest data revealed by China's General Administration of Customs. After reaching a peak of 1.343 billion units in 2015, China's smartphone exports have declined every year since. By 2022, exports declined to 822 million units. In other words, China's smartphone exports decreased by 521 million units in seven years, an alarming trend for the world's largest smartphone manufacturing and export base.