[Insights] Intensified Competition between Foxconn and Quanta in Apple’s Supply Chain

On October 31, 2023, Apple held a product launch event for its M3 chips. Reports suggest that Foxconn has secured a portion of existing MacBook Pro and iMac orders from Quanta. This marks the first time Foxconn has taken orders for higher-end MacBook Pro models.

The order distribution between Foxconn and Quanta has shifted, resulting in a more balanced competition. Quanta may need to expedite the introduction of new factory automation projects and relocate production facilities to reduce labor costs and regain its share of MacBook Pro and iMac orders.

TrendForce’s Insights:

  1. Foxconn’s Notebook Factories Excel in Materials, Automation, and Factory Management

Up until 2022, Apple’s computer assembly supply chain was primarily served by two Taiwanese companies, Foxconn and Quanta. In the second half of 2022, Chinese company Wingtech Technology entered the Apple computer assembly supply chain for the first time, initially securing a small portion of orders for MacBook Air products. While they currently hold only a fraction of the orders, they will undoubtedly pose a significant challenge to Foxconn and Quanta in the future.

Quanta, favored by Apple for its tech-oriented approach, faces tough competition from Foxconn, known for its high degree of factory management and production line automation.

The reason for Quanta losing a portion of its high-end notebook orders might be linked to the minimal design differences between the new models featuring the M3 chip and their predecessors.

Moreover, their assembly, testing, and packaging processes remain alike. Hence, Apple adjusts order proportions in its supply chain according to the production yield and quotes from assembly factories as part of risk management. Material costs, labor expenses, and production-related costs are the main elements in the product cost structure. At this stage, labor costs in Shanghai are higher than in Chengdu.

Additionally, Foxconn is one of Apple’s computer case suppliers, giving it priority in material usage. Given Foxconn’s extensive projects for production line automation, their acquisition of Apple’s high-end M3 chip orders for the MacBook Pro has significantly bolstered their standing.

In the future, as long as Apple’s computer designs undergo minimal changes, Foxconn can enhance its output by accelerating the replication of similar production lines. This strategy aims to satisfy customer demands across production volume, costs, quality, and delivery time. Consequently, Foxconn’s aim to capture a share of Quanta’s orders is just a matter of time.

  1. Quanta Needs to Accelerate Factory Automation and Establish Vietnam Facilities

Quanta’s factory in Shanghai, producing computer goods, operates within a labor-intensive industry. With the continual rise in local labor costs, recruiting in Shanghai, primarily an area with a service and finance-oriented workforce, becomes increasingly challenging. This scenario significantly impacts the overall workforce deployment in the production line.

Despite having facilities in Chongqing, the company’s strong presence of Apple repair centers in Shanghai anchors its focus there. Moreover, the ongoing establishment of Quanta’s Vietnamese facilities abroad will take time to address production capacity. Hence, Quanta might need to expedite factory automation in Shanghai to reduce labor usage, effectively cutting costs, and potentially regaining Apple orders.

Apple’s computer assembly has long been centered around China, but due to geopolitical influences, Quanta has ultimately shifted to establish production facilities in Vietnam

Vietnam has emerged as an electronic industry hub in the “China+1” strategy. Quanta should leverage local resources to transfer small-scale production lines to Vietnam for manufacturing. By obtaining brand verification for these products beforehand, they aim to shorten the preparation time before mass production, with the goal of reducing costs, improving yields, and regaining customer confidence.

Read more

(Photo credit: Pixabay)


[News] Foxconn’s October Revenue Reaches 741.2 Billion NTD, Anticipates Q4 Upswing

According to TechNews’ report, Foxconn announced its October revenue on November 5th, reaching 741.2 billion NTD (New Taiwan Dollars). This represents a 12.20% month-on-month increase and a 4.56% year-on-year decrease, marking one of the highest revenues for the same period in recent years. For the accumulated revenue in the first ten months of this year, Foxconn achieved 5.494 trillion NTD, marking a 7.21% year-on-year decrease but still staying relatively high compared to past years.

Examining the performance by product categories on a monthly basis, the “Computing Products” category exhibited robust growth, benefiting from pre-holiday stockpiling due to the Chinese “Double 11” Shopping Festival and the Thanksgiving holiday in North America. The “Cloud and Network Products” category also saw strong growth as a result of increased demand from American server brand clients.

The “Smart Consumer Electronics” category experienced growth due to demand for new products, as well as early holiday stockpiling in preparation for Chinese Double 11 and the North American Thanksgiving. In contrast, the “Components and Other Products” category remained relatively stable month-over-month, as increased shipments of components for consumer intelligent products were offset by reduced demand in non-core business segments.

Looking at annual performance by product categories, the “Components and Other Products” category experienced substantial growth, attributed to an increased share of supply in consumer intelligent products and growth in shipments of automotive electronic components. The “Consumer Intelligent Products” category remained relatively steady.

In contrast, the “Cloud and Network Products” category displayed a more conservative momentum in client pull-ins, and the “Computer Terminal Products” category showed signs of weakening due to a slowdown in PC market demand.

Foxconn’s outlook for the fourth quarter remains positive, anticipating that the latter half of the year will benefit from the traditional peak season in the information technology industry. Therefore, operations are expected to gradually pick up each quarter, and the company maintains its view that the fourth quarter will exhibit significant growth compared to the third quarter.

Recent report from Anue has also suggested that Foxconn secured more than half of the orders for the MacBook series for the first time this year, along with strong sales of the iPhone 15 Pro, which are likely to drive revenue growth in the fourth quarter.

(Photo credit: Foxconn)


China’s Ascendant Apple Notebook Supply Chain: Taiwanese Firms Shift to Secure Orders

The Chinese supply chain, led by Luxshare Precision, has secured Apple AirPods and iPhone assembly orders, while another ODM manufacturer Wingtec Technology, is gradually taking a slice of Taiwan-based orders. This development is poised to impact orders from Apple’s notebook computer between Taiwanese and Chinese factories, creating a ripple effect within the whole supply chain.

TrendForce’s Perspective:

  • Taiwanese Manufacturers Face Reallocated Apple Notebook Orders as Chinese Suppliers Strengthen Their Position

Regarding Apple, MacBook assembly was primarily handled by Taiwanese manufacturers Quanta and Foxconn until 2022. With Chinese firm Wingtec progressing from small-scale trial production to mass production of M1 MacBook Air, according to reports in Chinese media, Wingtec’s Yunnan Kunming factory has also received 3C quality certification for M2 chips. This confirms that Wingtec Technology will take on a portion of the future MacBook Air orders. As Foxconn secures the production of larger MacBook Pro models, this shift will primarily affect Quanta’s share in producing Apple computers. Wingtec is set to become the first Chinese factory to manufacture complete Apple MacBook Air units. If Wingtec consistently meets Apple’s product quality requirements and secures additional orders, the fourth quarter of 2023 will become a battleground for Taiwanese manufacturers defending their orders for Apple notebook computers.

  • The Taiwanese factories are accelerating the relocation of Apple notebook order production bases to Southeast Asia.

Given the slower recovery of the COVID-19 situation in China, rising labor costs, production capacity constraints, and restricted order volumes approved by customers, various electronic contract manufacturers have shifted their production focus to Southeast Asian countries, including Thailand, Malaysia, and Vietnam. Configuring production capacities for new and existing models, operating new factories, and rapidly transitioning supply chains are challenges of Taiwanese factories.

As Apple’s revenue from notebook computer products gradually contracts, the company is actively pressuring contract manufacturers to lower their product quotes. Additionally, China faces difficulties in recruiting workers, with local manufacturing labor transitioning into service-oriented roles such as live streaming, food delivery, and ride-hailing. This labor shortage has prompted Apple to actively demand that Taiwanese contract manufacturers accelerate the adoption of automation equipment to streamline factory operations, increase production output, and reduce labor costs. In light of the pressure from Apple’s orders and the emergence of the Chinese notebook computer supply chain, Taiwanese factories need to undergo further transformation to maintain their alignment with Apple and offer greater productivity and price advantages.

(Photo credit: Apple)


[News] Macbook Manufacturing Adds Another Supplier: Wingtec Makes the List

According to a report by Taiwan’s Economic Daily, the share of Chinese companies in Apple’s laptop manufacturing has expanded. After Luxshare secured assembly contracts for AirPods and iPhones, Chinese ODM Wingtec has commenced mass production of the 13-inch MacBook Air at its Kunming facility in Yunnan province, gradually eroding the historical market share of Taiwanese manufacturers like Foxconn and Quanta.

Both Foxconn and Quanta have exhibited relatively conservative stances towards the laptop market this quarter. Apple’s suppliers has typically refrained from commenting on competitor dynamics and single customer order trends. Quanta believes that the laptop market’s recovery is sluggish, with laptop shipments anticipated to decrease by 20% in the coming year. Additionally, the shift of certain Chromebook orders to an early June shipment date, coupled with a high base effect, is expected to result in a decline in the company’s laptop shipments this quarter.

On the other hand, at Foxconn, Chairman Young Liu previously stated that the company aimed to secure a larger market share in the personal computer (PC) segment. However, the decelerating momentum in the laptop industry demand is expected to persist into the latter half of the year. As a result, the third-quarter performance of the computer division is projected to remain on par with the second quarter while experiencing a decline compared to the same period last year.

Presently, Quanta is the largest assembly factory for Apple laptops, followed by Foxconn. According to China’s quality certification center, Wingtec has obtained a 3C quality certificate for its mass production of MacBook Air equipped with Apple’s M2 chip at the Kunming facility.

In the past, Apple’s MacBook Air product line was manufactured by both Foxconn and Quanta. Wingtec is the sole Chinese factory among Apple’s laptop manufacturers. Wingtec, known for its expertise in smartphone manufacturing, announced in April of this year that it secured Samsung’s 2023 smartphone and tablet ODM orders. In recent years, Wingtec has expanded its business scope to include semiconductors through acquisitions of automotive electronics firm Nexperia, successfully entering Apple’s supply chain.

Industry sources indicate that Apple is committed to diversifying MacBook laptop production to include various locations across China. Over the years, Apple has aimed to expand MacBook laptop production to more countries and companies. Analysts speculate that Apple’s ultimate plan is to allocate 55% of MacBook manufacturing to Quanta, 35% to Foxconn, and 10% to Wingtec.

(Photo credit: Apple)


Global NB Shipments for 2023 Are Forecasted to Reach Around 177 Million Units, Which Will Be Lowest Figure Before 2025

According to TrendForce’s latest research, global NB shipments are forecasted to drop by 5.8% YoY to around 177 million units. However, the downtrend in NB shipments is starting to moderate, and the projected figure for 2023 is expected to represent the lowest point before 2025. Currently, inventory corrections for components and whole devices are taking place in the global supply chain for NBs. Prices are also being cut substantially across sales channels, and PC OEMs have scaled back component procurements. There is a chance that the NB market will return to its usual cyclical pattern and show growth during 2H23, when back-to-school and holiday-related promotions are expected to boost device sales.

However, this scenario will depend on two factors. First, PC OEMs will have been able to effectively get rid of the existing stock of NBs belonging to the older generations during 1H23. Second, global inflation will ease as 2023 progresses. Currently, the IMF forecasts that the rate of global inflation will slide down to 6.5% in 2023, compared with 8.8% in 2023. Such development will help raise the consumer spending related to electronics. All in all, notable inventory corrections and the reduction of inflationary pressure will allow the NB market to leave the gloomy situation of 2022 and get back to upbeat state of quarter-to-quarter shipment growth.

Market Segments for Commercial and Consumer NBs Will Both See Decline in 2023, Chromebooks, Gaming NBs, and Creator NBs Will Become Main Demand Drivers

Looking at the various segments of the NB market, unit shipments and market share are expected to drop for both commercial NBs and consumer NBs. Conversely, Chromebooks will grow in terms of shipments and market share despite various headwinds. In 1H23, mature regional markets such as the US and emerging regional markets such as Indonesia and India will be releasing tenders for Chromebook for educational uses. Turning to gaming NBs, their global shipments are forecasted to increase by 8.3% YoY to 17.45 million units for 2023 thanks to the seasonal demand surge in 2H23. As for creator NBs, the market for them is growing because professional content creators want to purchase a “mobile workstation” in place of a high-end gaming NB for tasks such as building 3D models and processing large amounts of multimedia files. Global shipments of creator NBs are forecasted to rise by 24.9% YoY to around 437,000 units for 2023.

(Note: “NB” stands for notebook or laptop computer.)

  • Page 1
  • 2 page(s)
  • 10 result(s)