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Bigger smartphones to be a big hit: UBS

TAIPEI -- Taiwanese suppliers in the technology industry are likely to benefit from the launch of more large-screen smartphones, UBS Securities forecast yesterday.

William Dong, equities and research head of UBS Securities' Taipei branch, described 2013 as a less exciting year for Taiwan's tech industry due to a lack of amazing new smartphones, but the situation will change in the third quarter of this year when major brands are set to launch new products.

“Getting bigger will contribute greatly to the tech industry, including Taiwanese component suppliers and assemblers, given that large sized smartphones remain the mainstream in the market,” he told a media briefing.

On stocks relating to personal computers, UBS predicted negative growth for the sector in 2014 and noted that the range of the decline will be smaller than that of last year because of a lower comparison base in 2013, Dong said.

Asked about the outlook for wearable computing devices, Dong said such devices remain in the initial stage of development and will need more fashion factors added to their design.

In the third quarter of 2013, shipments of “phablets” — smartphones with a screen size of five to seven inches — accounted for 21 percent of the 261.1 million smartphones shipped globally, up from only 3 percent in the same period of 2012, according to research firm IDC.

Apple, whose latest iPhone 5S has only a 4-inch screen, saw its iOS handsets grow 25.6 percent year-on year during the third quarter of last year, underperforming Google Android's 51.3 percent and Microsoft Windows' 156 percent, IDC said.

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