Wed, Jan 22, 2014 - Page 13 News List

Outlook for smartphones less rosy: UBS

Staff writer, with CNA

Smartphone shipments worldwide are forecast to grow this year at the slower pace of 25 percent year-on-year as the high-end market deals with a saturation of product offerings, UBS Securities said yesterday.

Dragging down the growth in particular is the high-end market in China, the world’s largest smartphone market with an 80 percent penetration rate, the brokerage said.

“Manufacturers are now facing a lower threshold for entering the smartphone market,” said Arthur Hsieh (謝宗文), chief electronics hardware analyst at UBS.

“We think the average price of 4G phones will decline faster than that of 3G phones, especially in China, where handset makers and operators are promoting 4G phones aggressively,” Hsieh told a press briefing.

Hsieh said that China’s smartphone shipments will grow 20 percent to 30 percent this year, a big decline from 40 percent to 50 percent growth forecast for last year.

Meanwhile, tablet computers will likely see a larger increase in shipments at 35 percent growth this year on anticipated launches of larger models, Hsieh said.

As mobile devices grow, shipments of desktop and laptop PCs are estimated to continue falling, though less than they did last year.

Desktop and laptop shipments could drop 2 percent and by 5 percent to 6 percent respectively this year, compared with last year’s declines of 10 percent and 15 percent, the analyst said.

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