Taipei, May 17 (CNA) Production value of Taiwan's communications device manufacturing sector for the first quarter of this year fell almost 20 percent from a quarter earlier in reflection of slow-season effects during the period, a government report said Thursday.
Output of the local communications device production sector for the January-March period totaled NT$208.6 billion (US$7.06 billion), down 19.8 percent from a quarter earlier and down 10.7 percent from a year earlier, the Industry and Technology Intelligence Services (ITIS) report said.
The ITIS, a research institute under the Department of Industrial Technology, said sales of Taiwan-made communications gadgets, in particular personal communications devices, came under attack from fierce foreign competition in the last quarter.
The research institute said since local cell phone manufacturers failed to launch new models during the period, Taiwan's personal communications device makers lagged behind their foreign rivals in terms of sales.
In the first quarter, output of the personal communications device segment fell 23.8 percent from the fourth quarter to NT$123.8 billion. The first quarter figure also dropped 17.8 percent from a year earlier.
However, the popularity of smartphones boosted demand for mobile Internet services in the past quarter, the ITIS said.
It said production value of Taiwan's communications services sector during the three-month period totaled NT$100.4 billion, up 1.5 percent from a quarter earlier, and up 5.7 percent from a year earlier.
Looking ahead, after inventory adjustments of the global telecom industry in the first quarter, demand for Internet communications equipment is expected to rise in the second quarter, the ITIS said.
In addition, several international cell phone brands are scheduled to launch new models in the global market and introduce budget models to cater to Chinese users in the second quarter, which are expected to lift buying interest, the research institute said.
As a result, the ITIS said, output of the local communications device manufacturing sector for the second quarter is expected to rise 28.3 percent from the first quarter to hit NT$267.6 billion.
For the entire 2012, production value of the communications device manufacturing sector is expected to reach NT$1.06 trillion, up 0.8 percent from 2011 on the back of solid sales of smartphones, the ITIS said.
(By Tien Yu-pin and Frances Huang)