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Views from Taiwan (1): Insights into IT trends and dynamics
Colley Hwang, DIGITIMES, Taipei 0

After the peak of component crunch in the second quarter along with insufficient inventory in the third quarter, stress of stagnant deliverables on the highway seems to have been relieved. A consensus of the supply chain is to let the manufacturers breathe. The fourth quarter is in line with the traditional off-season, and the days should be easier. From foundries to IC design houses, Taiwanese manufacturers are in the limelight now. DIGITIMES Asia has noted in its reports that the foundry sector is now a seller's market with strong demand to last in end of 2022. Such messages are based on dynamic changes in demand-supply status of IT industry from the most upstream of the supply chain. Component shortages and component cannibalization require long-term rolling tracking. DIGITIMES Asia has been making dynamic adjustments to its views in line with rolling forecasts.

People get used to work in an office environment since they need office equipment as tools. Thanks to the notebook, paperless environment, e-signature, e-payment, and even home delivery, "hybrid working" environment or working from home is gradually becoming an acceptable work style. Iceland has three days off every week; Facebook allows employees to work from home; employees of Google and Apple are working from home for two days a week. The business community's work patterns are changing. But schooling is a different story. The efficiency of remote teaching is not as good as face-to-face interactins between teachers and students, which will also affect the demand for ChromeBooks.

In response to changes in the global handset market, we now look at it in two blocks: the Chinese market and non-Chinese market. In the past, the Chinese market regularly accounted for more than 30% of the global market, but it has now diminished to 25%. And as the Chinese market is becoming saturated, Chinese handset brands are expanding abroad. They have been able to sweep the markets of emerging countries. Even when the relationship between China and India gets soured, the markets of emerging countries are still being flooded with handsets of Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo. In what way can the experience of the Chinese market and Chinese brands inspire us?

The market decides the supply-demand dynamics of key components. TSMC, MediaTek, and even Samsung, LG, and Chinese brands and assemblers are all keeping an eagle-eye on the market trends. The "Views from Taiwan" series hopes to give penetrating insights into what is happening in the supply chain of core industry sectors, such as notebooks, servers, and handsets.

Our insights are partly based on data collected by DIGITIMES Research, which offers regular and special research reports.

IT supply chain

(Editor's note: This is part of a series of analysis by DIGITIMES Asia president Colley Hwang about the global IT supply chain.)

Colley Hwang, president of DIGITIMES Asia, is a tech industry analyst with more than three decades of experience under his belt. He has written several books about the trends and developments of the tech industry, including Asian Edge: On the Frontline of the ICT World published in 2019, and Disconnected ICT Supply Chain: New Power Plays Unfolding published in 2020.
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