According to surveys and analyses conducted by Digitimes Research, revenues generated from sales of server motherboards, servers, storage systems and related network system equipment by Taiwan-based vendors rose 4.8% on year to reach NT$555.8 billion (US$18.79 billion) in 2016 and the amount is estimated to grow another 5.9% on year in 2017 thanks to strong demand for cloud computing-related applications helping overall server shipments grow.
Digitimes Research estimates that 2016 was another down year for the global notebook market, with shipments dipping below 150 million. While the market will continue shrinking in 2017, the drop will be much less dramatic, as Windows 10 adoption in the enterprise will drive corporate demand. This Digitimes Special Report examines key factors in the notebook industry, including products, vendors and ODMs, that will affect total shipments in 2017 and through 2021.
Digitimes Research expects global application processor (AP) shipments to increase more than 8% in 2017 and surpass the 1.9 billion mark, with smartphones remaining the main application. After slumping in 2015, Qualcomm returned to form in 2016 and will continue leading the market in 2017, as other players continue playing catch up and scramble for funds to invest in more diverse applications such as IoT and other smart end-device applications.
Strong demand from the cloud computing market helped Taiwan's server shipments grow 12.5% on year to break 10 million units in 2015, accounting for 90.7% of worldwide shipments and the percentage is expected to grow to 91.1% in 2016. This Digitimes Research Special Report provides server industry supply chain market intelligence from the component stage down through the relationship between top ODMs and their brand vendor partners.
In 2016, China's smartphone panel capacity is expected to increase steadily, with BOE and Tianma expanding 6G capacity and GVO and Truly Optoelectronics increasing their share of handset panel production. This Digitimes Research Special Report analyzes the key trends affecting China's smartphone panel industry including LTPS and AMOLED technology developments, the role of smartphone makers in the supply chain, capacity expansion plans and panel pricing for each market segment.
This Digitimes Research Special Report explains the dynamics of the global AP market by analyzing key trends in the market including the shift to 4G, the market strategy of the key AP vendors and GPU providers and the role various applications have in influencing demand. Overall, Digitimes Research forecasts that the global application processor market will grow 8.5% in 2016 to reach 1.78 billion shipments.
In 2016, global tablet shipments will drop 4.8%, compared to a decline of 17.9% in 2015. With the exception of Microsoft and Huawei, most brands will see flat growth or a small decline in shipments. Some other key trends that Digitimes Research expects to see in 2016 include a continued drop in demand for 7-inch consumer price-friendly Wi-Fi tablets or tablets with phone features; increased popularity of Microsoft's Surface series and Windows 10; and slight on-year growth for Apple.
Global notebook shipments dropped 9% on year in 2015 and the volume in 2016 is expected to drop further by 2.6% to reach 154 million units. Although Windows 10's new functions will trigger some PC replacement, Chromebook will see a small shipment growth and the Wintel's China supply chain will be able to further reduce entry-level notebooks' costs, the shipments in 2016 will still be impacted by the facts such as Surface-like 2-in-1 devices' penetration into the notebook market and the merger of Japan-based notebook vendors. Worldwide notebook shipments are expected to grow slightly in 2017 but the market decline will resume again in 2018.
China's Tri-network Integration Policy has eased restrictions on the broadcasting and telecom industries in China and allowed them to offer each other's services. This has brought new competitive challenges to the local video market, especially its Internet video/TV market, which has expanded at a scale and speed surpassing that of other regions in the world. This Digitimes Research Special Report provides insights and analysis into the regulations, and content and service providers in the complicated and explosive China Internet TV market.
China has been solidifying its semiconductor industry policy objectives through the release of the "National IC Industry Development Guidelines" in June 2014 and "Made in China 2025" in June 2015, with one key financial support program being the National IC Industry Investment Fund (Big Fund), which will be used to help finance production capacity in advanced process technologies. This report analyzes how the Big Fund can affect the China and global semiconductor industry moving forward.
The wearables market is a growing focal point for many vendors and players in the display panel supply chain. This Digitimes Research Special Report looks at developments in panel applications in the wearable industry, with a specific focus on panel makers in Greater China. The report also covers the investments being made moving forward (through 2017) in order to meet end-market demand, including capacity expansion for small- to medium-size TFT LCD and AMOLED panels.
As white LED applications are becoming more widely accepted and common in the market and China makers push more price-competitive solutions, the 2015 global high-brightness LED output value is expected to only grow 7.5% on year. It is not surprising that in a market with limited growth, makers are turning to applications such as UV LEDs to increase profits. This DIGITIMES Research Special Report analyzes the developments, supply chain and makers associated with UV LED technology.