[News] Tata Reportedly Partners with Pegatron for iPhone Assembly in India

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.


[News] TSMC’s Primary Client for 2nm Chips Expected to be Apple, Set to Debut with iPhone 17 Lineup Next Year

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.

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(Photo credit: NVIDIA)

Please note that this article cites information from wccftech.


[News] Apple Faces Headwinds in China Market, Rumored to See a Potential Double-Digit Sales Decline in 2024

Due to consumer spending pressures this year, the smartphone market is not as robust as before. With Apple facing strained relations with China, market sentiment continues to be pessimistic about Apple’s prospects.

Recently, citing from a report from Jefferies Financial Group’s analyst, Bloomberg stated that the sales volume of Apple’s latest products in China is expected to decline by 30% compared to last year in 2024, potentially experiencing a double-digit decline for the whole year.

The Wall Street Journal once reported that last year, the Chinese government announced its restriction on officials using iPhones, with at least eight provinces instructing officials to cease using iPhones.

This restriction not only applies to government agencies but also extends to state-owned enterprises, including large entities in China’s power generation, harbor construction, mining, manufacturing, education, and investment markets.

In addition to political restrictions, Apple is also facing pressure from Chinese competitor Huawei. Analysts from Jefferies Financial Group previously stated that sales of Huawei’s Mate 60 Pro surpassed the iPhone 15.

In 2023, Huawei held the highest market share in the Chinese smartphone market, growing by approximately 6% compared to the same period in 2022, while Apple’s market share in China declined by 4% year-on-year.

Patriotic Enthusiasm Supports Local Smartphone Brands

Driven by “patriotic enthusiasm,” according to Jefferies’ estimation, Huawei’s smartphone shipments last year reached 35 million units, falling below the expected 40 million, possibly due to constraints in component supplies.

The Huawei Mate 60 Pro features a SMIC-manufactured 7nm processor tailor-made for the domestic market. Huawei continues to develop and expand its HarmonyOS operating system, competing with iOS and Android.

Yet, according to MacDailyNews, Huawei has allegedly exaggerated the capabilities of the Mate 60. In reality, its processor specifications lag behind Apple by several generations.

The “Kirin 9000S” is a 7nm chip, with a Geekbench 6 single-core score of 1,267 and a multi-core score of 3,533. In comparison, Apple’s A17 Pro features a 3nm chip, scoring 2,902 in Geekbench 6 single-core and 7,221 in multi-core tests.

The Huawei Mate 60 falls behind even Apple’s entry-level third-generation iPhone SE. The latter is equipped with the 5nm A15 Bionic chip from September 2021, scoring 2,237 in Geekbench 6 single-core and 5,173 in multi-core tests.

Smartphone Price Reduction Fails to Boost Sales

To salvage the market, iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max witnessed a substantial 16% price reduction on the Pinduoduo e-commerce platform during the first week of 2024, with similar discount levels observed in December. However, analysts from Jefferies believe that these discounts will not stimulate sales growth.

As iPhone sales constitute approximately 52% of Apple’s total revenue, China has consistently represented Apple’s most crucial international market.

In the face of the competitive pressure in the Chinese market this year, TrendForce analysis suggests that Huawei’s successful sales will exert sales pressure on Apple, which also targets the high-end market in China.

Therefore, TrendForce is not optimistic about the production forecast for Apple in 2024, estimating the annual production volume to be around 215-225 million, slightly lower or flat compared to the previous year.

In terms of regional market operations, Apple continues to increase its production share in India, aiming to offset the lost market share in China through the growth of the high-end market in India. It is estimated that by 2025, the production share in India will further increase to 25-30%.

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(Photo credit: Huawei)

Please note that this article cites information from TechNewsThe Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg


[News] Luxshare Acquires Leadership of Pegatron’s Kunshan Plant, Challenging Foxconn’s Dominance on iPhone Assembly?

Chinese iPhone assembly contractor Luxshare Precision is set to officially acquire the controlling stake of Pegaglobe (Kunshan), the iPhone assembly plant under Pegatron. This series of acquisitions will provide Luxshare with a stronger competitive advantage against Foxconn. Concurrently, Luxshare is reinforcing its component layout to enhance its capability to expand iPhone orders.

Following the acquisition of Wistron’s Jiangsu and Kunshan plant, Luxshare has now secured the controlling stake of Pegaglobe (Kunshan), a subsidiary of Pegatron. This marks another acquisition of China’s plants involved in manufacturing iPhone for Taiwanese companies.

According to UDN citing from industry insiders,  Luxshare’s acquisition of Pegaglobe (Kunshan) is likely to have received Apple’s approval. Luxshare has consecutively broken the pattern of iPhones being solely manufactured by Taiwanese companies, suggesting that Luxshare has the opportunity to reshape the landscape of iPhone manufacturing in the future.

Having acquired iPhone manufacturing plants in China from Wistron and Pegatron, Luxshare not only gains more market share in manufacturing but also expands its presence in the upstream iPhone component supply chain. This ongoing integration of upstream components enhances Luxshare’s capability to secure more iPhone orders.

In the past three years, Luxshare has been consistently acquiring iPhone-related supply chain entities. In July 2020, Luxshare’s subsidiary, Lizhen Precision (Jiangsu), acquired Wistron Investment (Jiangsu) and Wistron InfoComm Manufacturing (Kunshan) for RMB 3.3 billion (approximately USD 467 million), marking the beginning of Luxshare’s acquisition of plants involved in iPhones assembly for Taiwanese companies.

Recently, Luxshare finalized an agreement with the global provider of connectivity and power solutions – Qorvo. Luxshare will acquire Qorvo’s testing and packaging facilities in Beijing and Dezhou, with the transaction expected to be completed in the first half of next year. This move is seen as Luxshare’s effort to build a more comprehensive iPhone component supply chain.

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(Photo credit: Luxshare)

Please note that this article cites information from Anue and UDN


[News] Is a Foldable iPhone on the Horizon? Samsung Display’s ‘Apple Team’ Strengthening Spurs Speculation

According to South Korean electronics industry media “The Elec,” insiders have revealed that, in the year-end organizational restructuring, Samsung Display has strengthened its existing team responsible for handling demand from Cupertino, where the corporate headquarters of Apple is located.

Reportedly, the focus was on enhancing its capability to respond to the potential release of foldable devices by Apple. This suggests that an Apple foldable device might make its debut in the coming year.

The report points out that both Samsung Display and its competitor LG Display are developing a 20.25-inch foldable display for Apple’s future products. Samsung Display’s organizational restructuring appears to be a strategic move to compete more effectively against other rivals, particularly LG Display, in an effort to secure orders for Apple’s foldable panels.

Apple is Samsung Display’s most significant customer for OLED panels, and Samsung Display is the exclusive supplier of foldable OLED panels for its parent company, Samsung Electronics. Samsung Display evidently aims to leverage the experience gained in producing foldable displays for Samsung devices to prepare for potential future orders for foldable iPhones and iPads from Apple.

However, according to the analysis released by TrendForce in the second half of this year, Apple’s development in the folding field still requires time. Apple’s foray into foldables has been tepid, to say the least.

Yet, Apple’s unwavering obsession with user experience could be the culprit. Furthermore, persistent challenges with foldable tech—think panel evenness and hinge design—might be holding them back.

But here’s the kicker: Achieving perfection with larger foldable panels is somewhat simpler than their smaller counterparts. Could this mean Apple might leapfrog right into medium-sized foldable products—like laptops or tablets? Only time will tell.

TrendForce’s insights reveal that by 2023, shipments of foldable smartphones could skyrocket to an impressive 18.3 million units, marking a 43% YoY surge. However, this only captures a slim 1.6% of the year’s total smartphone market.

Fast forward to 2024, and we’re looking at another leap—a 38% growth, translating to a hefty 25.2 million units and nudging the market share up to 2.2% Looking at the medium to long term, TrendForce believes the expansion of the foldable smartphone market is inevitable. By 2027, shipments could soar to a whopping 70 million units, seizing around 5% of the global smartphone market.

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(Photo credit: Apple)

Please note that this article cites information from The Elec.

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