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Experts express concern over Huawei surpassing Apple

2019/01/20 19:09:06

CNA file photo

Taipei, Jan. 20 (CNA) Experts have expressed concern of negative impact on the country's manufactures as Taiwan-headquartered market research firm TrendForce said recently that China's Huawei could overtake Apple Inc. this year to become the world's second- largest smartphone maker.

Hua Nan Securities Investment Management Chairman David Chu (儲祥生) said some Taiwanese manufacturers have relatively close relationships with Apple and he speculated that if Huawei sales grow and Apple declines, it will have a negative impact on those Taiwanese companies.

Some of the companies that could be impacted include Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., B-Tek Technology Inc. and Catcher Technology C.o, as they accept relatively large orders from Apple, Chu pointed out.

According to a 2018 list of Apple's supply chain, a total of 42 Taiwanese manufacturers were supplying the tech giant, including Largan Precision, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. and Compal Electronics.

Market analyst Kevin Lin (林成蔭) said the impact will hit the Taiwanese manufacturers harder than it hits Apple because the U.S. company may focus on services and app charges in the future, whereas the supply chain will lose every time it cannot sell its products.

According to TrendForce, Huawei is expected to surpass Apple because of the advantages of its comprehensive product range and self-developed chips, which saw the Chinese company's production volume increase by 30 percent year-on-year to 205 million units in 2018.

Apple's production volume for 2018, on the other hand, declined by 3 percent year on year, TrendForce said, adding that the company shipped 10 million fewer units in China in 2018 compared to 2017 because of the high prices of new iPhones and a ban on the sale of some iPhone models.

In 2019, Apple is expected to face a similar trend and also a longer replacement cycle for its smartphones, TrendForce said, adding that the tech giant's production volume is expected to decrease to 189 million smartphones in 2019, whereas Huawei could produce as many as 225 million.

Meanwhile, Samsung, which produced 293 million smartphones in 2018, will remain the market leader, TrendForce predicted.

(By Jiang Ming-yan and William Yen)