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Smartphone Production Growth to Slow Down in 2018, iPhone to Increase Marketshare: TrendForce

Smartphone Production Growth to Slow Down in 2018, iPhone to Increase Marketshare: TrendForce
  • Smartphone production grew 6.5 percent last year, 2018 may see a slowdown
  • iPhone production grew over 3 percent; 7.5 percent rise expected in 2018
  • Samsung production rose 3 percent, may see a decline in 2018

Global smartphones production growth is expected to decline in 2018. A TrendForce report has claimed that 2018 will see global smartphone production at around 1.53 billion units, a growth of 5 percent only, compared to 6.5 percent growth in 2017. Meanwhile, the report predicts that it will be a good year for Apple, but not so much for Samsung. Apple iPhone production may see an increase in 2018 and production volumes of Samsung smartphone are expected to fall, according to TrendForce. Rising component costs will increase cost pressure on smartphone makers as well.

The TrendForce report says that the total smartphone production for last year reached 1.46 billion devices, up 6.5 percent from 2016, thanks to the Chinese smartphone brands. The production of Apple iPhone last year, soared over 3 percent over 2016 and is expected to grow more than 7.5 percent this year. The report said that the numbers could have been higher if there were no technical limits to the production of the iPhone X.

Meanwhile, Samsung saw a rise in production by 3 percent but may witness a decline by the same amount in 2018, despite its position as market leader. The reason, as mentioned in the report, could be "great challenges and fierce competition brought by its rivals, including Apple in the high-end market and a number of Chinese brands with Android OS".

When it comes to technology advancements, TrendForce predicts Apple will improve the Face ID and aspect ratio on its iPhone models for 2018. Additionally, it may increase the memory content and embed AMOLED display in two of its variants, the report adds. The Cupertino giant is expected to launch the next generation of iPhone SE catering to the mid-budget smartphone buyers, TrendForce said.

The rise in mobile production in 2017 has been attributed to the massive growth of Chinese manufacturers, the report added. This was accelerated by Chinese telco subsidies in 4G monthly fees, as well as mobile brands' active deployment in emerging markets. Xiaomi has recorded a 76 percent rise in smartphone production, thanks to increasing physical distribution channels and expanding overseas markets such as India and Indonesia. Transsion Holdings brands also showed impressive performance in emerging overseas markets, and TrendForce expects its brands to continue growth. Xiaomi's production market share is expected to keep pace with Oppo and Vivo. 

The report adds that 18:9 displays and dual cameras will become a staple on smartphones in 2018, saying, "Smartphone brands will continue to enhance the user experiences in 2018, with development focusing on 18:9 all-screen, dual-camera, wide-angle front camera, AI embedded applications, etc. In terms of biometric recognition, iPhone will continue to feature Face ID while other brands will use mainly capacitive fingerprint sensors in the first half of 2018 due to existing technical barriers. Smartphone models with under-display fingerprint or 3D sensing will have a chance to enter mass production in the second half of 2018."


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