Taipei, June 27 (CNA) Shares of Taiwanese suppliers to Apple moved higher Wednesday morning after the local media reported that the U.S. consumer electronics giant will unveil its iPhone 5 in August, a couple of months ahead schedule, dealers said.
With the expected early launch of Apple's newest smartphone model, hopes have been raised that Taiwan's contract makers will enjoy an increase in shipments and higher profitability for the second half of this year, dealers said.
As of 11:12 a.m., shares of casing supplier Catcher Technology Corp. had risen 2.86 percent to NT$197.50 (US$6.61), and cell phone camera lens maker Largan Precision Co. had climbed 4.82 percent to NT$609.00.
Cell phone camera lens supplier Genius Electronic Optical Co. had gained 2.78 percent to reach NT$240.50, while shares of Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. were up 0.70 percent at NT$86.60 although the gains were capped by worries over the losses on its investment in the Japanese company Sharp.
The weighted index was up 0.77 percent at 7,192.70 points on turnover of NT$29.40 billion..
"The market has been waiting for the new iPhone so the reports stirred up buying in these Apple concept stocks this morning," MasterLink Securities analyst Tom Tang said.
Apple is expected to place orders with component makers in July in preparation for its planned launch of iPhone 5 in August, which is aimed at cashing in on back-to-school buying at the end of the summer vacation, according to local media reports.
While component suppliers such as Largan and Genius will benefit from the strong demand from Apple, Hon Hai is likely to serve as the sole assembler of iPhone 5, the reports said.
"After recent consolidation on the broader market, investors tended to seize any leads, whether positive or negative, to trade and the reports prompted buyers to return," Tang said.
"However, I prefer to advice investors that they should trade these Apple concept stocks with caution as the global financial markets remain overshadowed by lingering concerns over the debt problems in the eurozone," Tang said.
Tang said he is afraid that demand for iPhone 5 in Europe and the U.S. will be compromised by a weakening global economy caused by the European debt crisis.
"The current interest in Apple concept stocks reflects hope rather than reality," Tang said. "It is possible that many investors will sell these stocks for trading purposes and will lock in their profits soon."
(By Frances Huang)