The nation’s Apple tablet supply chain is likely to benefit from the launch of the new iPad model last week amid expectations of higher iPad 2 shipments, while notebook PC makers could face continued challenges this year, analysts said.
Apple Inc on Wednesday unveiled its new iPad at an event in San Francisco.
The iPad 2 is scheduled to hit the US market on Friday and several other countries on March 25.
With advantages in pricing, performance and immediate availability compared with other tablet products launched by smartphone and PC makers, Apple’s shipments of original iPad and iPad 2 are expected to total between 35 million and 45 million units this year, Ian Peng (彭建航), an analyst with DigiTimes Research, said in an e-mailed statement on Friday.
The overall market for tablet computers is expected to grow to between 55 million and 65 million units this year, the Taipei-based researcher predicted. Apple would dominate the market with a 70 percent share, he said.
“Taiwan supply chains are very positive and still expect more than 40 million to 50 million iPad -shipments in 2011, [up] from 14.8 million units in 2010,” Credit Suisse analysts Robert Cheng (鄭勝榮) and Pauline Chen (陳柏齡) said in a report on Friday.
Taiwanese companies involved in the iPad supply chain include main assembler Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密), casing producers Catcher Technology Co (可成科技) and Foxconn Technology Co (鴻準精密), printed circuit board and substrate makers Tripod Technology Corp (健鼎科技) and Kinsus Interconnect Technology Corp (景碩科技), as well as handset lens suppliers Largan Precision Co (大立光) and Genius Electronic Optical Co (玉晶光電).
Other Apple suppliers are battery makers Simplo Technology Co (新普科技) and Dynapack International Technology Corp (順達科技), passive components service providers Yageo Corp (國巨) and Delta Electronics Inc (台達電), as well as touch-panel producers Wintek Corp (勝華) and TPK Holding Co (宸鴻) and Chimei Innolux Corp (奇美電子).
Suppliers of iPad 2 are likely to continue benefiting from the tablet’s growing momentum after the new model hits the market later this month, but it is Hon Hai, the world’s biggest electronics manufacturing service provider and sole supplier of the new tablet, that is set to be the biggest beneficiary, Citigroup analyst Kevin Chang (張凱偉) said in a note on Wednesday.
“We estimate that total iPad sales will account for 11 percent to 12 percent of Hon Hai’s 2011 revenue, up from 5 percent to 6 percent in 2010,” Chang said. “More important, we believe that Hon Hai has managed to re-negotiate a better price with Apple on iPad 2 and also got higher allocation of the casing [along with Foxconn Tech].”
Credit Suisse said touch-panel makers TPK and Wintek should also gain substantially from iPad 2 because Apple orders account for over 70 percent of their revenues.
However, JPMorgan analysts led by Gokul Hariharan and J.J. Park, believe new entrants into the Apple supply chain — such as Catcher for casing, Chimei for panels and Delta for power adaptors — could see most upside in share prices, according to a client note issued on Wednesday.
Both Acer Inc (宏碁) and Asustek Computer Inc (華碩電腦) are likely to face a growing challenge from iPad’s aggressive pricing, as higher iPad shipments could lead to lower shipments in their notebook computers and Android tablets, Citigroup said.