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Communications services to get iPhone 5 boost

TAIPEI--Apple Inc.'s iPhone 5, is expected to raise output of Taiwan's communications services business for the fourth quarter of this year, a government research report said Saturday.

The phone, which is likely to go on sale in Taiwan by the end of this year, could trigger product replacements among smartphone users, paving the path for growth of the local communications services sector, according to a report released by the Industry and Technology Intelligence Services (ITIS).

Apple unveiled iPhone 5 in mid-September. While no exact schedule has been announced for the Taiwan sale, local consumers have high hopes that the new gadget will hit store shelves by the end of this year.

In addition, the launches of several new models of non-Apple smartphones are expected to add momentum to the local communications services sector for the current quarter, the report said.

The ITIS, a research institute under the Ministry of Economic Affairs, said on the back of iPhone 5 and other smartphone sales, production value of Taiwan's communications service sector is expected to reach NT$100.3 billion (US$3.43 billion), up 1.4 percent from a year earlier.

The research unit said while the mobile data transmission services sector is likely to register significant sales growth due to strong demand, revenue of mobile voice data services could fall to compromise the total output of the communications services sector to some extent.

In addition, since telecom operators have cut the rates for long distance phone calls and broadband services, the communications services sector is expected to register only a slight increase in output, the ITIS said.

In the third quarter, production value of the local communications services sector gained 0.7 percent from the second quarter to NT$99.4 billion due to an increase in revenue generated by fixed-line phones, international direct dialing services, as well as multimedia on demand services, the ITIS said.

The ITIS said output of the communications services business for 2012 is expected to grow 2.3 percent from a year earlier to NT$397.5 billion.

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