TPK Holding Co (TPK, 宸鴻), which supplies touch panels for Apple Inc’s Apple Watches and iPads, yesterday posted quarterly losses of NT$618 million (US$19.6 million) for last quarter due to seasonally weak demand, an inventory glut, and customers’ product transitions.
TPK lost NT$1.01 billion in the first quarter. Gross margin fell to 2.1 percent last quarter from 6.5 percent in the second quarter because of a decline in factory utilization, the company said.
TPK said it expected business to pick up this quarter.
TPK chief executive officer Michael Chung (鍾依華) said the company is optimistic about demand for touch sensors, applications for the company’s open-cell touch display solution, fingerprint sensors, curved displays and new devices running on Microsoft’s new operating system Windows 10.
“We believe that pressure sensors [for force touchpanels] will see widespread adoption across the mobile-device market this year,” Chung said.
TPK’s revenue this quarter is expected to grow by 50 percent from last quarter’s NT$23.7 billion, Chung said, adding that gross margin is set to improve to between 2 percent and 6 percent.
TPK is scheduled to begin shipping pressure sensors in the second half and expects the volume to grow significantly next year.
TPK’s forecast of strong growth this quarter contrasts with the outlook for the touchpanel industry as a whole, which Chung expects to remain stagnant due to a lack of game-changing apps and products in the mobile-device market.
TPK said the company’s operating costs shrank to NT$1.62 billion last quarter from the NT$1.81 billion in the first quarter due to organizational restructuring.
Referring to the high expectations for a certain smart watch, Chung said that the wearable device market is still in its infancy in terms of ecosystem and applications, but he is optimistic on the growth potential of the segment, adding that the first-generation iPhone also had a slow start.
Chung said that apart from telling the time and fitness applications such as heart rate monitoring, uses for smart watches might expand to unlocking electronic doors, payment processing and personal security monitoring for children and the disabled.
From India to China to the US, automakers cannot make vehicles — not that no one wants any, but because a more than US$450 billion industry for semiconductors got blindsided. How did both sides end up here? Over the past two weeks, automakers across the world have bemoaned the shortage of chips. Germany’s Audi, owned by Volkswagen AG, would delay making some of its high-end vehicles because of what chief executive officer Markus Duesmann called a “massive” shortfall in an interview with the Financial Times. The firm has furloughed more than 10,000 workers and reined in production. That is a further blow
MOBILE SMART: The Dimensity 1200 is 22 percent better in terms of performance than its predecessor, and 25 percent more power-efficient, the handset chip designer said MediaTek Inc (聯發科) yesterday unveiled its premium 5G processors — the Dimensity 1200 and Dimensity 1100 — as it vies for a larger slice of the world’s rapidly growing 5G smartphone market. Manufactured using Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co’s (台積電) 6-nanometer process technology, the Dimensity 1200 processor performs 22 percent better than the previous generation Dimensity 1000+ processor, and is 25 percent more power-efficient, MediaTek said. Chinese smartphone brands Xiaomi Corp (小米) and Realme Mobile Telecommunications (Shenzhen) Co (銳爾覓移動通信) are to be the first adopters of the latest Dimensity chips, the companies said during a virtual media briefing. Xiaomi plans to equip its first
Answering to a reported request by Germany to help address a chip shortage in its auto industry, the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) yesterday said that it was in talks with domestic chip suppliers. Foreign media over the weekend reported that German Minister of Economic Affairs Peter Altmaier had sent a request to Taipei to ask Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) to cooperate more closely with German automakers to provide microchips and sensors, to bridge a shortage that has emerged over the past few months. The MOEA said that it had not yet received the request and could therefore not elaborate
FOCUS ON FOUNDRIES: An analyst said that some investors would be disappointed because they were expecting a larger announcement of a partnership with TSMC Intel Corp’s incoming chief executive officer Pat Gelsinger on Thursday pledged to regain the company’s lead in chip manufacturing, countering growing calls from some investors to shed that part of its business. “I am confident that the majority of our 2023 products will be manufactured internally,” Gelsinger said. “At the same time, given the breadth of our portfolio, it’s likely that we will expand our use of external foundries for certain technologies and products.” He plans to provide more details after officially taking over the CEO role on Feb. 15, but Gelsinger was clear that Intel is sticking with its once mighty