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Press Releases
QoQ Decline in DRAM ASP Will Moderate to Around 13~18% for 1Q23, but Slump Will Continue, Says TrendForce



TrendForce’s latest analysis of the DRAM market finds that the inventory pressure on suppliers remain significant due to the persistently weak demand for consumer electronics Among the top three DRAM suppliers, only Samsung has seen a slight drop in inventory level thanks to its highly competitive pricing strategy To prevent DRAM prices as a whole from making another sharp dive, a few suppliers such as Micron have been cutting production Therefore, the QoQ decline in DRAM prices are projected to shrink to around 13~18% for 1Q23 However, the slump will have yet to reach the bottom at that time Regarding the QoQ changes in the prices of the major categories of DRAM products for 1Q23, PC DRAM and server DRAM are projected to again register a drop that is near 20% Conversely, mobile DRAM will experience the smallest price decline because its profit margin is ready the thinnest In the PC DRAM segment, PC OEMs have lowered procurement quantity for two consecutive quarters as sales of notebook (laptop) computers have been lackluster Now, moving into 1Q23, PC OEMs hold around 9~13 weeks of PC DRAM inventory Even though they are working hard to consume the existing stock, the traditional low season acts a powerful constraint The overall PC DRAM bit output is expected to fall during 1Q23 because Micron has already made a marginal cut to its PC DRAM production, and SK Hynix will soon follow suit However, supply glut will still be significant in the PC DRAM segment The top three suppliers have been aggressive in lowering prices for DDR5 products, so the DDR5 penetration rate in the PC DRAM segment is projected to reach almost 20% in 1Q23 Regarding QoQ changes in PC DRAM prices for 1Q23, DDR5 products will experience a drop of around 18~23%, and DDR4 products will experience a drop of around 15~20% The ASP of PC DRAM products is projected to fall by around 15~20% QoQ for 1Q23 Turning to the server DRAM segment, server demand is going to fall during 1Q23 because of the effects of the traditional low season, inventory adjustments, and the recent weakening of the global economy North American cloud service providers have already started to dial down server demand in terms of procurement quantity and the pace of server deployment However, suppliers continue to raise the share of server DRAM in production, so this segment continues to face mounting inventory pressure While some suppliers are cutting production, this is not enough to effectively limit the decline in server DRAM prices Regarding QoQ changes in server DRAM prices for 1Q23, DDR5 products are expected to suffer a decline of 18~23%, which is slightly larger compared with the projected drop experienced by DDR4 products for the same period However, the DDR5 penetration rate in the server DRAM segment is projected to reach just around 10% in 1Q23 Thus, DDR4 products are going to determine the extent of the general decline Currently, the ASP of server DRAM products is projected to fall by around 15~20% QoQ for 1Q23 The mobile DRAM segment has benefited from about six quarters of inventory adjustments on the part of smartphone brands Currently, smartphone brands hold 5~7 weeks of mobile DRAM inventory on average, so the inventory situation is fairly optimal On the other hand, smartphone sales have been in a slump A rebound is not expected in the short term, especially after the latest change in China’s policy on controlling COVID-19 outbreaks With smartphone brands lowering their device sales targets for 2023, there will be a certain degree of difficulty when it comes to inventory consumption in the mobile DRAM segment However, mobile DRAM quotes are starting to show a more moderate decline than before because suppliers have scaled back production, and the effect of this will become more prominent over time Moreover, mobile DRAM already has the lowest profit margin compared with other categories of DRAM products Since the market consensus is that the demand for mobile DRAM products will remain weak, slashing prices further will do little in helping suppliers to capture more market share Hence, TrendForce projects that the QoQ decline in mobile DRAM prices will narrow to around 10~15% for 1Q23 With regard to the graphics DRAM segment, shipments are going to ramp up for graphics cards and notebook computers featuring the latest GPUs However, the overall demand for consumer electronics is sluggish, and the previous period for inventory adjustments was quite long Therefore, graphics DRAM buyers maintains a cautious procurement strategy Furthermore, demand growth still lagged behind supply growth in graphics DRAM segment during 4Q22, so inventory continues to pile up for this product category on the supply side Additionally, for the specifications of the mainstream graphics DRAM solutions, there will be a full-scale shift in buyers’ demand from GDDR6 8Gb to GDDR6 16Gb during 2023 With the demand for them becoming more limited, graphics DRAM products based on GDDR6 8Gb will experience more dramatic price fluctuations TrendForce currently projects that the ASP of graphics DRAM products will fall by about 18~23% QoQ for 1Q23, but the decline could get larger if suppliers continue to undercut each other in this segment Lastly, in the consumer DRAM segment, prices have yet to leave the downturn phase as there are no signs of buyers ramping up procurement activities Also, the flow of consumer DRAM orders related to networking devices was steady before but has now started to gradually decelerate this first quarter Due to these developments, shipments of consumer DRAM products on the whole are going to slide Even though Micron began to cut production in November last year, suppliers’ DRAM inventories have been climbing to new heights This segment will continue to experience excess supply unless suppliers undergo several quarters of inventory adjustments and make larger production cuts TrendForce projects that the ASP of consumer DRAM products will fall by 18~23% QoQ for 1Q23 as supply glut persists in this segment For more information on reports and market data from TrendForce’s Department of Semiconductor Research, please click here, or email Ms Latte Chung from the Sales Department at lattechung@trendforcecom For additional insights from TrendForce analysts on the latest tech industry news, trends, and forecasts, please visit our blog at https://insidertrendforcecom/

Press Releases
Smartphone Production Fell to About 289 Million Units for 3Q22 as Demand Was Not Sufficient to Offset Inventory Pressure and Economic Headwinds, Says TrendForce


Consumer Electronics

According to TrendForce’s latest research, global smartphone production totaled around 289 million units for 3Q22, showing a slight QoQ drop of 09% and a YoY drop of 11% The smartphone market thus exhibited an extremely weak demand situation as the “iron law” of positive growth in the third quarter was broken after being in effect for years The contraction of smartphone production during this year’s peak season was mainly attributed to smartphone brands giving priority to consumption of channel inventory for whole devices and maintaining a fairly conservative production plan for 3Q22 Moreover, they had kept lowering their production targets due to strong global economic headwinds Regarding the performances of the major smartphone brands in 3Q22, Samsung posted around 642 million units in device production, showing a QoQ increase of just 39% This was the result of the brand scaling back production since 2Q22 and maintaining a conservative outlook on the future market situation Due to persistent inventory pressure, Samsung is expected to again post a QoQ decline for 4Q22 In the aspect of product development, Samsung has been the leader in foldable smartphones This year, the global market share of foldable smartphones is estimated to reach 11%; and within this segment, Samsung is expected to hold a market share of almost 90% As for 2023, the global market share of foldable smartphones is forecasted to climb to 15%, and Samsung is forecasted to retain a market share of almost 80% in the segment Apple posted 508 million units in iPhone production for 3Q22, showing a stable growth trend Apple had benefited from the reallocation of the demand that were originally going to Huawei’s smartphones as well as the optimal pricing for the new iPhone models, Furthermore, the third quarter is usually the production ramp-up period as Apple intends to push sales of the new iPhone models to their peak in the fourth quarter Following the release of the iPhone 14 series, much of the demand for the new iPhone models has been tilted towards the Pro subseries Accordingly, Apple has also adjusted the share distribution of the different new models in iPhone production However, Foxconn’s EMS base in the Chinese city of Zhengzhou has recently experienced a drop in capacity utilization rate due to a local COVID-19 outbreak Since the base is also Apple’s main site for manufacturing the iPhone Pro models, this incident will impact the total iPhone production in 4Q22 Following Samsung at first and Apple at Second, the ranking of the top five global smartphone brands by production for 3Q22 is rounded out by Xiaomi, OPPO, and Vivo at third, fourth, and fifth respectively In this ranking, Xiaomi encompasses its sub-brands Redmi, POCO, and Black Shark; OPPO includes Realme and OnePlus; and Vivo also takes account of iQoo Among them, only Xiaomi maintained about the same device production volume compared with the previous quarter, whereas the other two recorded a QoQ drop All of them have been constrained in raising production during the second half of this year due to the pressure to correct excess inventory They also have to deal with COVID-19 lockdowns in the home market and the recent deceleration of India’s economic growth Moving into 4Q22, these three Chinese brands are expected to post mostly flat growth in device production Looking further ahead, Xiaomi, OPPO, and Vivo will be facing significant challenges First, China as their home and primary market is already highly saturated The enforcement of the zero-COVID policy by the Chinese government has further caused a freeze in domestic demand during the recent period At the same time, Honor has emerged to pose a direct threat in the competition for domestic market share To maintain growth, Xiaomi, OPPO, and Vivo will have to concentrate on overseas expansions while retaining their domestic market shares To Escape Fallout from US-China Dispute, Chinese Smartphone Brands Will Support Strengthening of Domestic Supply Chain by Developing Their Own Chips Samsung, Apple, and Huawei have been self-developing chips such as mobile SOC in order to maintain a loyal group of customers and provide effective market positioning for their high-end device models And because these three brands have been able to generate additional values with in-house components, the other major Chinese brands are now following their footsteps and committed to maintaining teams dedicated to chip design Xiaomi, for instance, has developed the mobile SoC Pengpai S1, the imaging processing chip Pengpai C1, and the 120W fast-charging chip Pengpai P1 OPPO, too, has unveiled a discrete ISP named MariSilicon X and is expected to introduce an in-house AP in 1Q24 As for Vivo, it has launched the V1 and V2 chipsets as solutions for optimizing the image processing algorithm of the smartphone camera Looking at these examples, TrendForce believes that while Chinese brands are using in-house chips to raise their profiles, their more important aim is to strengthen the domestic supply chain as China and the US are now locked in an escalating geopolitical competition Regarding the state of the smartphone market in 4Q22, the results from the recent promotional events related to China’s Singles’ Day reveal that smartphone brands have not been particularly effective in spurring devices sales by lowering prices Consumer confidence on the whole has been heavily impacted by various economic headwinds TrendForce estimates that global smartphone production will total around 316 million units for 4Q22, translating to a QoQ growth of 93% A YoY comparison will still show a decline TrendForce points out that the smartphone market started to show signs of weakening in 3Q21 Since then, it has recorded six straight quarters of YoY decline in device production Demand will eventually return when the correction of channel inventory is mostly completed, but this turnaround is expected to occur no earlier than 2Q23 For more information on reports and market data from TrendForce’s Department of Semiconductor Research, please click here, or email Ms Latte Chung from the Sales Department at lattechung@trendforcecom For additional insights from TrendForce analysts on the latest tech industry news, trends, and forecasts, please visit our blog at https://insidertrendforcecom/

Press Releases
Projected iPhone Shipments for 4Q22 Has Been Lowered by 2~3 Million Units as Foxconn’s Base in Zhengzhou Temporarily Keeps Capacity Utilization Rate Around 70%, Says TrendForce


Consumer Electronics

Zhengzhou, the capital China’s Henan Province, was hit with a wave of COVID-19 outbreaks in the middle of October The spread of the disease eventually reached Foxconn’s manufacturing base, where the number of infections rose significantly in late October This event has thus directly affected the performances of the iPhone production lines that are deployed within the base In its latest investigation of this event, TrendForce finds that the capacity utilization rates of the iPhone production lines have climbed back to around 70% as the local outbreaks are being gradually brought under control However, returning their capacity utilization rates to the normal level will still be difficult in the short term The Zhengzhou base is Foxconn’s main production hub for the iPhone Pro and Pro Max models Furthermore, the flow of orders for the Pro series is now at its peak Hence, iPhone shipments will be lower than expected for 4Q22 Originally, the fourth-quarter iPhone shipment target was set at 80 million units Due to the drop in the capacity utilization rates of the production lines in Zhengzhou, the quarterly total iPhone shipments is now projected to drop by 2~3 million units As for this year’s total iPhone shipments, they are now targeted around 237 million units Due to Impact of China’s Dynamic Zero-COVID Policy, iPhone Shipments for 1Q23 Could Undergo Another Downward Correction Looking ahead to 1Q23, the economic outlook for the period is already quite pessimistic Moreover, the winter season is generally conducive to the spread of diseases such as COVID-19 Hence, there is a possibility that China could enact zero-COVID lockdowns at a more frequent pace in the future Such scenario would extend the effects of this policy to the demand side and disrupt Apple’s iPhone production plan for that quarter TrendForce’s research finds that China’s domestic demand accounts for around 20% of the overall iPhone sales Assuming that the future performance of the global economy is not particularly positive, the effects of China’s ongoing “Dynamic Zero-COVID Policy” on the supply and demand sides will likely cause a downward correction to the quarterly iPhone shipment target Currently, iPhone shipments are forecasted to reach 52 million units for 1Q23 However, TrendForce is not ruling out a downward correction of 4~6 million units Furthermore, the YoY decline in iPhone shipments for 1Q23 could be widened further to more than 20% TrendForce’s investigation also indicates that Foxconn’s production of the Pro and Pro Max models will continue to exclusively take pace at the Zhengzhou base in the short term However, Apple is planning to spread the production-related risks for the iPhone Pro series by diverting orders to Luxshare and Pegatron Luxshare is expected to first benefit from the subsequent order transfer, and shipments of the iPhones made at its production lines may start as early as 1Q23 Even though the demand for iPhones will be much weaker during that period, spreading out orders will help Apple in its plan to take on other EMS providers for the next iPhone Pro series and lower the risk of relying too much on one production site to manufacture certain device models For more information on reports and market data from TrendForce’s Department of Semiconductor Research, please click here, or email Ms Latte Chung from the Sales Department at lattechung@trendforcecom For additional insights from TrendForce analysts on the latest tech industry news, trends, and forecasts, please visit our blog at https://insidertrendforcecom/

Press Releases
iPhone 14 Pro Sales Favorable Yet Cannot Vanquish Rising Inflation, Apple Cuts 1Q23 Production to 52 Million Units, Says TrendForce


Consumer Electronics

Looking at Apple's 2022 sales, the company began adjusting the proportion of new products after the initial wave of pre-orders The market response after the release of the iPhone 14 Plus was lukewarm, escalating Apple's product adjustment process The iPhone 14 Pro series boasts improved specifications yet unit prices are the same as last year's models, making pre-orders for the Pro series highly popular In the past, the Pro series was the first choice for the earliest wave of users In addition, the delayed launch of the 14 Plus this year has led to more concentrated buying than in previous years TrendForce indicates that the production ratio of the two models of the iPhone 14 Pro series has been increased from the initially planned 50% to 60% and it cannot be ruled out that this ratio will continue rising to 65% in the future At present, the overall proportion of new iPhone models in Apple's shipments will remain at 36% and the company’s 2022 iPhone shipment target is 240 million units, an annual increase of 28% TrendForce points out, while the US continues to raise interest rates to curb inflation, undercutting disposable consumer income, Apple's production performance will feel these effects in 1Q23 Production is expected to be lowered to 52 million units from an earlier estimate of 56 million units, a 14% decline YoY As geopolitical pressure rises, large smartphone brands accelerate migration of production lines out of China Recently, the US Department of Commerce increased sanctions on Chinese chips and export of semiconductor equipment Although there are no restrictions on smartphone production centers, as friction between China and the United States intensifies, smartphone brands that focus on the North American market are bound to strike a balance between sales and product origin According to TrendForce investigations, since Apple has a leading 50% share of the US market and has also built India into a production center in recent years, it is estimated that Apple’s proportion of Indian production is expected to exceed 5% in 2023 and increase year by year Specifications of new high-end iPhone models to see greater differentiation in 2023 Looking forward to the iPhone 15 series, TrendForce indicates that Apple will maintain a four new model release schedule featuring two processors to further differentiate between standard and high-end models In terms of specifications, in addition to the comprehensive switch from lightning to Type C connectors which is already known, chances are high that the Pro series will feature a memory capacity upgrade to 8GB to match its new processor and continue camera specifications improvements including upgrading its main camera to 8P and the use a periscope lens in the Pro Max model As for Apple's in-house 5G modem, the company will continue using a Qualcomm model because its mmWave signal test results cannot meet Apple’s requirements The company’s self-developed 5G modem is expected to be officially introduced in 2024 For more information on reports and market data from TrendForce’s Department of Semiconductor Research, please click here, or email Ms Latte Chung from the Sales Department at lattechung@trendforcecom For additional insights from TrendForce analysts on the latest tech industry news, trends, and forecasts, please visit our blog at https://insidertrendforcecom/

Press Releases
2Q22 Global Smartphone Production Only 292 Million Units, Down 6% QoQ on China’s Pandemic Policies, Says TrendForce


Consumer Electronics

According to TrendForce investigations, 2H22 smartphone production planning was quite conservative as brands gave priority to adjusting distribution channel inventory At the same time, weak market demand worsened on the back of China's pandemic controls and brands were forced to lower their production targets As a whole, production volume dropped 6% in Q2, even though volume had always grown in previous second quarters Global output was only roughly 292 million units, a 5% annual decline compared with the production performance in the same period in 2021 when a second wave of pandemic outbreaks occurred in South Asia and Southeast Asia As the primary vendor in Europe, Samsung was forced to carry out a series of inventory adjustments for finished products and components including large-scale promotions and suspension of component procurement due to the impact of the Russian-Ukrainian war Thus, production volume in 2Q22 was significantly reduced by 163% QoQ to 618 million units Looking to the third quarter, Samsung is still focusing on the adjustment of distribution channel inventory and, as the outlook remains conservative, total production in 3Q22 is estimated to remain flat or trend upward marginally compared to 2Q22 It is worth noting that in recent years, due to Samsung's aggressive investment in the research and development and marketing of folding devices, the company has successfully maintained the popularity of these devices, and has also become the market leader in this segment Samsung will account for nearly 90% of the 11% 2022 global smartphone market share held by folding devices The second quarter is a transition period for Apple as it hands off old models for new and is nominally the quarter with the lowest production performance during the year Initial operational performance was affected in the second quarter by the implementation of lockdowns in Shanghai and Kunshan which hobbled supply chain supply The output shortfall created during the lockdown period was made up with production capacity adjustment after the lockdowns were lifted Apple still produced 482 million units in 2Q22, ranking second in the world Looking to the third quarter, the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max are among four new models to be upgraded to the A16 (TSMC 4nm) processor Upgrades such as initial starting memory capacity increasing to LPDDR5 6GB and 256GB, primary camera moving up to 48 million, Face ID Design changes, etc, are expected to raise starting prices However, under pressure from rising global inflation and foreign exchange rates, Apple is expected to adopt a more cautious pricing strategy so as not to affect its sales performance OPPO (including Realme, OnePlus) produced 388 million units, down 42% QoQ Xiaomi (including Redmi, POCO, Black Shark) produced 38 million units in 2Q22, down 146% QoQ Since Vivo (including iQoo) began to adjust its pace of production significantly in 1Q22, it rebounded to 257 million units in 2Q22, up 127% QoQ The three aforementioned brands are ranked third to fifth, respectively These three brands overlap significantly in sales market and product planning In 2Q22, China’s lockdowns and extreme weather in the Indian market affected economic performance, resulting in sluggish sales in these two major markets, which in turn affected production performance in 2Q22 Furthermore, the rapid rise of Honor in the Chinese market poses a considerable threat to the market share of brands such as OPPO, Xiaomi, and Vivo Honor’s market share in China is estimated to surpass Xiaomi and approach OPPO and Vivo in 2022 Looking to the third quarter, China’s economy, the primary market of OPPO, Xiaomi, and Vivo, is expected to remain weak Originally upbeat emerging markets such as India and Indonesia have also found it difficult to maintain growth due to global inflation, food crises, and extreme weather Considering the numerous negative market factors and the fact that distribution channel inventory is still to be digested, TrendForce believes that the production volume of the three aforementioned brands will be roughly in line with 2Q22, while all showing a sharp decline of more than 10% compared with the same period last year, which is enough to herald worrying performance in peak season during 2H22 On the whole, the Chinese market, one of the world’s three major markets, has reached a high degree of saturation and demand growth has slowed In the future, the focus of China’s three major smartphone brands will remain on expanding overseas markets For more information on reports and market data from TrendForce’s Department of Semiconductor Research, please click here, or email Ms Latte Chung from the Sales Department at lattechung@trendforcecom For additional insights from TrendForce analysts on the latest tech industry news, trends, and forecasts, please visit our blog at https://insidertrendforcecom/

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