TrendForce has released the latest panel quotations for early February. Due to the effective production control strategies implemented by panel manufacturers, there is an expectation of gradually stimulating panel demand. It is anticipated that TV panel prices will return to an upward trend in February. Details are as follows:
From the perspective of panel suppliers, with the reduction in working days and the Lunar New Year holiday in February, it is expected that the average utilization rate will fall below 60%. Coupled with the relatively low TV panel inventory in the supply chain, the production control strategies of panel manufacturers have been effective. There is an anticipation of gradually stimulating the recovery of TV panel demand.
Meanwhile, the upstream supply issues with polarizing film materials have exacerbated, and it is expected that TV panel prices will return to an upward trend in February. Currently, it is expected that 32-inch, 43-inch, and 50-inch panels will increase by 1 USD, 55-inch by 2 USD, and 65-inch and 75-inch by 3 USD in February.
Although monitor panel demand is in the off-season, due to panel production cuts, unstable conditions in the shipping industry, and supply issues with polarizing film materials, some customers are observed to be willing to increase orders to mitigate potential risks. Additionally, with the established upward trend in TV panel prices in February, panel manufacturers are more confident, and it is expected that open-cell panels will increase by 0.1 to 0.2 USD. Panel module prices, however, are expected to remain overall stable.
Notebook panel demand is still in the off-season in the first quarter, and with sluggish demand, brand customers continue to request panel manufacturers to maintain the trend of price reductions. Different panel manufacturers respond differently to this pressure. Newer entrants are actively seeking to expand market share, leading to a more aggressive pricing strategy, putting pressure on existing panel manufacturers. In this competitive situation, notebook panel prices are not easily expected to see a comprehensive stabilization. In February, only TN models are expected to maintain a stable trend, while FHD IPS models are expected to decrease by 0.1 USD, and 16:10 models are expected to decrease by 0.2 to 0.3 USD.
India’s Tata Group is reportedly in discussions with Taiwanese electronics manufacturer Pegatron to establish a joint venture, with the intention of co-managing the Apple iPhone assembly plant currently under construction in the southern state of Tamil Nadu. The partnership is anticipated to hasten the growth of iPhone production capacity in India.
According to Reuters citing industry sources, Tata, having acquired an iPhone assembly plant in the southern state of Karnataka from the Taiwanese company Wistron in 2023, has officially become part of the iPhone supply chain in India.
On the other hand, the new facility in the city of Hosur, Tamil Nadu, will be Tata’s second iPhone assembly plant in India, featuring 20 production lines, as disclosed by sources cited by Reuters.
Amid rumors that Tata Group in India is deeply engaged in discussions with Pegatron to form a strategic alliance and establish a joint venture, Pegatron did not to respond to market speculations.
Currently, approximately 10% of Apple’s iPhone production capacity in India comes from Pegatron, with the vast majority of capacity originating from Foxconn’s iPhone assembly plant located in Karnataka.
Furthermore, Foxconn has the highest share in Apple’s current new iPhone assembly. Among the four iPhone 15 series models, only certain models like iPhone15 and iPhone15 plus are produced by Tata Group in India.
An industry source has reportedly stated, “Tata cannot build everything from scratch,” He indicated that after Tata establishes a joint venture with Taiwanese firm Pegatron, Pegatron will provide technical and engineering support.
In recent years, Pegatron has been consistently expanding its global footprint, with expansions ongoing in Taiwan, Mexico, Indonesia, India, Vietnam, and other locations.
Regarding its operations in India, Pegatron announced in late October 2023 that it had invested approximately NTD 300 million (roughly USD 9.56 million) to secure leasing rights for factory premises in Tamil Nadu.
In January of this year, the Indian subsidiary announced signing a construction general contracting project to commence electromechanical engineering construction for a new plant, totaling approximately NTD 510 million (roughly USD 16.26 million). According to industry sources, Pegatron’s Indian facilities primarily focus on smartphone production at present.
(Photo credit: Apple)
Please note that this article cites information from Reuters.
“Foldable Phones” have emerged as the new epitome of high-end flagship smartphones. However, whether it’s in the form of vertical or horizontal folding, it may no longer meet the needs of some users.
Recently, industry sources cited by TechNews has suggested that Chinese smartphone brand Huawei is planning to launch a triple-fold foldable phone this year. This move is expected to make smartphones unfolded more akin to the size and functionality of tablet computers.
As for the folding form, it might be in a Z-shaped (or S-shaped) manner. The screen size after folding would be similar to that of a regular smartphone, approximately 6.4 inches. It is rumored that Huawei’s Z-fold phone’s panel supplier could be BOE.
However, the design of the triple-fold phone may not be limited to just the Z-fold type; it could also be designed in a G-fold manner.
What is the G-fold type? It means both hinges fold inward. Nonetheless, such a design would necessitate adding a cover screen, which would increase the overall weight and thickness. Additionally, to cover the folded panel, the folding radius of the other side’s hinge must be enlarged.
As for the Z-fold (or S-fold) design, while it allows for the use of the outer folded panel as a cover screen, thus saving weight, the simultaneous presence of both inward and outward folding poses significant challenges to the panel’s layer stacking design and the mechanism’s design.
However, some people may wonder, “Are foldable phones really selling well?” In fact, according to TrendForce’s data, for the shipment numbers last year, the existing shipment volume of foldable phones still falls short of expectations, reaching only 15.7 million units, failing to surpass the 16 million mark.
The sales performance of the leading brand in foldable phones, Samsung Electronics, was also not as good as expected, remaining at around 10.5 million units. The sales situation of other Chinese brands also did not meet expectations.
While foldable phones have indeed become the new symbol of high-end flagship smartphones, the fact is that the design patterns have become quite fixed. For consumers who are always looking for something new, these phones have lost their novelty and breakthrough points.
Therefore, brands have begun to contemplate the future of foldable phones with new designs and are considering abandoning certain design patterns to achieve better profitability.
For instance, OPPO and vivo are expected to abandon upright foldable phone models within this year, opting to retain only the left-right folding models (Fold).
The main reason behind this decision is that the pricing of upright foldable phones is lower, and although there might be a chance of higher shipment volumes compared to the Fold models, the profit margins are not significant.
Now that the demand for foldable phones has started to plateau, it is anticipated that the demand for foldable phones this year will only reach 17.7 million units, a 12.3% year-on-year increase.
In the face of sluggish end-user demand, why are smartphone brands still considering launching new types of foldable phones? This relates to the notion of “technological showcase.” Huawei’s triple-fold phone design takes into account technological capabilities, yield rates, and other factors.
Initially, the scale may not be too large, but the technological demonstration aspect remains potent. Huawei is anticipated to position itself as a technological leader, exerting pressure on other smartphone brands to a certain extent.
However, brands are not only contemplating “folding” smartphone designs. Some brands have also begun considering rollable and pull-up designs, aiming to inject new vitality into the smartphone market.
Since the release of the Huawei Mate 60 series smartphones, the Huawei Kirin chipset has been making a comeback with various iterations, including the Kirin 9000s and Kirin 9000E featured in the Mate 60 series. The latest update has revealed the confirmation of a new Kirin chipset named Kirin 9000W, making its debut in the Huawei MatePad Pro 13.2-inch.
In other words, , the Huawei MatePad Pro 13.2-inch employs different processors in different countries, indicating that Huawei’s Kirin chipset family has added new members.
Currently, there are six different versions of the Kirin 9000 chipset available in the market, namely Kirin 9000, Kirin 9000E, Kirin 9000L, Kirin 9000S, Kirin 9000SL, and Kirin 9000W.
However, Huawei’s official websites in the mentioned markets only mention the “Kirin 9000W” without providing further details. Apart from mentioning the model, they only introduce it as an octa-core CPU. Based solely on this information, it’s challenging to determine the performance difference between Kirin 9000W and Kirin 9000S.
As per TechNews citing from sources, it has been suggested that the Kirin 9000W is likely similar to the Kirin 9000S but may offer slightly improved performance. Additionally, due to the larger size of the MatePad Pro, better temperature control might be necessary.
Previously, TSMC has indicated that TSMC’s 2nm process will be deployed as scheduled in the second half of 2025, indicating that before that, the most advanced chips in the market will be produced using TSMC’s 3nm process. Apple, which has consistently been the first to adopt TSMC’s latest process, is set to be the first to adopt TSMC’s latest 2nm process.
▲ TSMC’s Layout of Global Production Capacity Edited by TrendForce, November, 2023
According to a report from the media outlet wccftech, Apple’s iPhone, Mac, iPad, and other devices will be the first users of TSMC’s 2nm process. Apple will leverage TSMC’s 2nm process technology to enhance chip performance and reduce power consumption. This advancement is expected to result in longer battery life for future Apple products, such as the iPhone and MacBook.
Currently, Apple’s chips designed for products like MacBook, iPad, and iPad Pro are produced using TSMC’s 3nm process technology. In 2023, the company announced the inclusion of the M3 Pro and M3 Max chips in the new MacBook Pro models.
Additionally, TSMC will utilize new technology based on the GAAFET (Gate-All-Around Field-Effect Transistor) transistors instead of the traditional FinFET. While this new architecture makes the manufacturing process more complex, it also brings advantages such as smaller transistor sizes and lower power consumption.
In terms of performance analysis, Apple’s current chips are transitioning from the 5nm process to the 3nm process. This transition has resulted in a 10% increase in CPU performance and a 20% increase in GPU performance.
For now, TSMC is actively planning the capacity for future 2nm process technology through the construction of two new factories. Additionally, TSMC will utilize new technology based on the GAAFET (Gate-All-Around Field-Effect Transistor) architecture instead of the traditional FinFET architecture.
While this new architecture makes the manufacturing process more complex, it also brings advantages such as smaller transistor sizes and lower power consumption.
The report further indicates that Apple is expected to adopt the 2nm process for chip production in the iPhone 17 by 2025. Additionally, the same technology will also be applicable to the production of Mac’s M-series chips.
Furthermore, as TSMC is quietly developing 1.4nm process, it is expected to be unveiled in 2027. This development means that, like the 2nm process technology, Apple could potentially be the first company to receive the latest process technology from TSMC for chip production, whether it’s 1.4nm or 2nm.