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Cellphone shipments in Q2 to grow over 40%: report

TAIPEI--Taiwan's cellphone shipments for the second quarter of this year are expected to grow more than 40 percent from a year earlier on the back of foreign brands' intensive efforts to launch new models. This will result in more orders for local contract makers, a research report said Saturday.

In addition, Taiwan-based HTC Corp. has been gearing up to put new models, ranging from high-end to mid-range devices, on the market. This move is expected to boost Taiwan's cellphone shipments in the three-month period, the report said.

In the report, market research group Digitimes Research said that Taiwan is expected to ship 23.40 million cellphones in the second quarter, up 42.2 percent from the first quarter and also up 44.7 percent from a year earlier.

Due to the shipment increase, Taiwan is expected to take a 5 percent share of global cellphone shipments in the second quarter, compared with a 3.8 percent share seen in the previous quarter. In the first quarter, Taiwan's cellphone shipments fell 1.6 percent sequentially but rose 40 percent year-on-year to 16.46 million units.

The first-quarter market share was higher than a 3.6 percent share seen over the same period of last year, when cellphone shipments totaled 16.17 million units, up 37.5 percent from a quarter earlier but down 15.7 percent from a year earlier.

As Sony Mobile Communications has intensified its efforts to introduce new smartphone models, such as the new Xperia series, and Nokia has been aiming at the feature phone market, the two international brands are expected to increase their outsourcing to Taiwanese contract makers, Digitimes Research said.

Digitimes said three of Taiwan's leading contract smartphone makers — Arima Communications Corp., Chi Mei Communication Systems Inc. and Compal Communications Inc. — are the major beneficiaries of international brands' new models.

The research group said the three Taiwanese contract makers are expected to see their shipments for the second quarter growing 20-35 percent from a quarter earlier.

Shipments of HTC, which has unveiled its latest flagship model, the HTC One M8 and its newest mid-range model, the HTC Desire 816, are estimated to almost double from a quarter earlier.

The two models have received a warm welcome in the growing China market.

HTC is scheduled to hold an investor conference May 6 to give guidance for the second quarter. Many investors are holding their breath, watching closely whether the Taiwanese smartphone vendor will turn a profit in the second quarter from a loss per share of NT$2.28 per share seen in the first quarter.

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