Sony Corp, the world's second-biggest consumer electronics maker, may raise its forecast for digital camera sales by 10 percent as camera users increasingly switch to digital pictures, attracted by improved image quality. \nSony may increase its target to 16.5 million cameras from sales of 15 million it forecast in April, said Katsuya Nakagawa, head of product planning for the company's Cyber-shot cameras. \nSony expected industry shipments to rise 55 percent this year. In the first four months, they increased 69 percent compared with the same period a year earlier. \nSony President Nobuyuki Idei said he's looking to products such as the DSC-T1 Cyber-shot camera to help boost profitability at the electronics division, which had a ?35.3 billion (US$325 million) operating loss in the last fiscal year. Digital camera sales show no signs of slowing growth, Nakagawa said. \n"We have to see how this plays out," said Koichi Hariya, analyst at Mizuho Securities Co in Tokyo. "Profitability at Sony's digital camera operations declined last fiscal year, even as sales grew," excluding a special charge related to a law suit in the prior year, said Hariya, who has a "reduce" rating on the stock. The company does not disclose profit or sales by product category. \nIn April, Tokyo-based Sony forecast total industry shipments may rise between 39 percent and 51 percent to as much as 65 million units in the business year to March 2005, compared with a 54 percent increase in the previous year. \nCamera prices have stabilized, according to Nakagawa. Average selling price in Japan has stopped declining since the latter half of last year, with higher priced single-lens reflex models, such as Canon Inc's EOS Kiss Digital, taking more market share. In the US, where prices fell 15 percent last year, the decline has been less than 10 percent so far, he said. \nProcuring camera parts, including liquid crystal display screens, image sensors, and lenses, which already are in tight supply, may present challenges to manufacturers, Nakagawa said. \nSony, also the biggest maker of image processors, made about 60 percent of the components for its DSC-T1, which holds the biggest share of the Japan market. Using more internally built parts will enable Sony to more quickly deliver its most advanced products, as well as keep production costs down, he said. \nCanon, the world's second-biggest seller of digital cameras after Sony and Rochester, New York-based Eastman Kodak Co, which set up a new division last year in Japan to enhance its digital camera line-up, are both providing increased competition for Sony's product range. \nSony expects the global digital camera market to grow about 30 percent in the year ending March 2006, to 82 million units, Nakagawa said.
NOTABLE SHIFT: By 2030, 50% of all laptops would be assembled in Southeast Asia, while Taiwan would still mostly focus on research and development, a report said Global laptop and desktop computer supply chains are expected to shift significantly away from China in the next 10 years, a Market Intelligence & Consulting Institute (MIC, 產業情報研究所) report said. By 2030, only 40 percent of global laptop production would remain in China, said the report, which was released on Thursday. “The reshuffling of the global supply chain will be one of the most important trends in the next 10 years,” the institute said in the report. “In the long run, key component makers will follow laptop assemblers in moving out of China.” The Taipei-based institute predicted most key component makers
Merck Group Taiwan yesterday said that it plans to invest substantially on expanding its fab in Kaohsiung’s Lujhu District (路竹) to better serve its local customers, including Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電). The company said it plans to expand its production space by 50 percent in the next five years and its workforce by about 40 percent, Merck Group Taiwan managing director Dick Hsieh (謝志宏) told a media briefing in Taipei. Hsieh declined to disclose investment details, but said that the latest investment would exceed the total amount Merck has invested in Taiwan over the past few years. Those investments would be
Yageo Corp (國巨), the world’s third-largest supplier of multilayer ceramic capacitors, has formed a strategic alliance with Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密) to develop key electronic components for electric vehicles and digital healthcare, it said yesterday. The alliance is to help Yageo boost its revenue from high-end components for vehicles and industrial, medical and aerospace devices, as well as those used in 5G and Internet-of-Things devices, the company said. The companies signed the strategic alliance agreement at Yageo’s headquarters in New Taipei City’s Sindian District (新店). Their cooperation is to start this quarter, the companies said in a joint statement. “Through the cooperation
INVEST IN TAIWAN: A metal components casting firm and the world’s largest maker of aluminum bicycle rims also obtained approvals to join the program Solar Applied Materials Technology Co (SOLAR, 光洋應用材料), a part of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co’s (TSMC, 台積電) “green supply chain,” has pledged to invest NT$1 billion (US$34.1 million) to build a new plant at the Tainan Technology Industrial Park (台南科技工業區), the Ministry of Economic Affairs said yesterday. SOLAR has been collaborating with TSMC to extract precious metals from waste and reuse them as “sputtering target” material in high-end semiconductor manufacturing, a TSMC press release issued in May said. Established in 1978, SOLAR also offers key materials and integrated services to customers in the optoelectronics, information and communications technology, petrochemicals and consumer electronics industries,