Chih-Kai Cheng, a friend of mine in venture capital business in the US, has remarked that the ethnic Chinese in Silicon Valley have a broad vision but lack practical experience in resource integration. Taiwanese are pragmatic and reliable but sometimes act without visions. People from China think big and bold but often end up with biting off more than they can chew.
Micron is stepping up expansions of its production capacity, with plans to install EUV tools at its Taiwan fabs in 2024. In China, smartphone shipments to the domestic market slipped 5.4% in September, with local brands accounting for over 90% of the shipments. And supply side issues, such as component shortages, may hinder 5G smartphone shipment growth globally in 2022.
Over the past 36 years, I have learned quite a few lessons from Taiwan's electronics industry development. One of them is that only through "sharing" and "reciprocity" can we achieve win-win situations.
Automotive IDMs have already told their clients that their chip prices will go up by 10-20% starting 2022 amid rising compoents and materaisls costs. Foundry quotes have been rising, but they are expected to increase less sharply next year with near-term demand for IC components to remain robust. Foundry houses' race to advance process technologies is promising strong growth for EUV tool vendor ASML.
Samsung's new NAND flash production capacity is coming, which is likely to create oversupply and exacerbate price falls for the memory. Apple has been relyng on Taiwan-based ODMs for producing its Mac devices, but it reportedly is looking to outsource portions of the Mac production to Chinese makers. But Taiwan's IC substrate suppliers have reportedly entered Apple's supply chain for new Mac chips.
Since moving into the new economic era in the 1990s, India has chosen the information service sector as its core industry. Much of the loans and subsidies from the World Bank have been spent on infrastructure such as satellite communications, which has made software business process outsourcing (BPO) a mainstream business in India. The fundamental industrial structure of BPO has been well developed since the 1990s.
Foxconn has been aggressive in expanding its presence in the EV sector, and it is looking to promote localized EV production in various regions to tap respective markets. Robust orders for HPC chips from AMD and Nvidia are expected to drive sales growth at TSMC in 2022. Quanta Computer's server manufacturing facilities in Taiwan have reached almost full production capacity and will open a new plant in Thailand next year to produce server motherboards.
China's third-quarter economic growth numbers slowed more than expected to 4.9% from the same period last year, falling short of the 5.2% forecasted by a Reuters poll, but the growth has not yet bottomed, said economists.
India's three major telecommunication companies account for 90% of the business opportunities. Vodafone's market share is declining. The fastest-growing player is Reliance Jio, which accumulates service users through a successful marketing ploy of low-cost mobile phones. Its current market share in India's telecommunication market has reached 37% with 436 million users.
Makers in Apple's supply chain have seen no major changes to orders for iPhone 13 devices despite speculation about the US vendor looking to cut production for the new smartphones. The memory sector is entering a period of correction, with commodity DRAM prices likely to fall 15-20% in first-quarter 2022. Rising components, production and logistic costs are heaping pressure on notebook vendors.
The most crucial for electric vehicles (EV) is the external ecosystem, or more precisely the infrastructure which is often closely linked to the government's various supporting measures. India has a FAME-II program, an incentive program aiming to accelerate the spread of eco-friendly vehicles. The program's total budget is INR100 billion (US$1.4 billion), of which 86% will be subsidies for vehicles and 10% for charging facilities.
Tablet brands will see a more stable market environment in 2022 with their shipments in the year to pick up moderately by 1.3% from 2021. Although tablet brands will start pushing into the creator market to seek more business opportunities, overall tablet shipments are still likely to shrink over the next five years until 2026, according to the figures from Digitimes Research's latest five-year (2022-2026) forecast report on the tablet industry.
Latch was founded in 2014 by a group of former Apple employees and began trading on Nasdaq on June 7th, 2021 under LTCH. Through a SPAC listing, it raised $453 million and values over $1.5 billion. The system of Latch is designed to bring all devices and services together to make buildings "smart."
The car industry has been plagued by component shortages, and automotive IC shortages are likely to last till at least 2023. TSMC's plan to build a mature process fab in Japan comes as good news for a semiconductor sector yearning for more capacity supply. And PanelSemi CEO Ting Chin-lung is making efforts to materialize his concept of "panel semiconductor."
Many IDMs and pure-play foundries, including second-tier ones, are all poised to expand their fab capacities sparking concerns that the arrival of the additional capacities could result in a glut of processed wafers.