Tue, Aug 18, 2015 - Page 13 News List

Inventec edges into the wearable device market

KEEPING SECRETS:Taiwan’s Inventec is not revealing who it has become a supplier for in the competitive device market, but it has predicted growth next year

By Lauly Li  /  Staff reporter

Taiwanese electronics contract manufacturer Inventec Corp (英業達) said it has tapped into the wearable device market, but the company yesterday declined to say whether US Fitbit Inc is one of its major clients.

The company is to start shipping new products related to wearable goods and smartphone devices in the remainder of this year, Inventec chairman Richard Lee (李詩欽) told reporters last week.

SHIPPING

Lee did not say who the new clients are, but said he expects the projects to drive growth for Inventec next year.

The Chinese-language Commercial Times yesterday reported that Inventec is part of a supply chain for US company Fitbit Inc and would start shipping the firm’s wearable products from next quarter.

Inventec is to work with Fitbit via Joint Design Manufacturing (JDM), which has a higher margin compared with original equipment manufacturing, the report said.

Fitbit shipped 8.4 million wearable devices in the first half of this year, according to the company’s quarterly report.

MARKET SHARES

Fitbit is the world’s largest wearable device supplier, with a market share of 34.2 percent per share in the first quarter of this year, according to International Data Corp (IDC).

Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi Inc (小米) is the second-largest supplier in the wearable device market with 24.6 percent per share and shipments of 2.8 million units in the January to March quarter this year, IDC said.

Inventec Appliance Corp (英華達) CEO of Inventec’s handset subsidiary David Ho (何代水) said in an investors conference last week that the company expects revenue contribution from the new projects to be meaningful to Inventec next year.

Yuanta Securities Investment Co (元大投顧) said given Fitbit’s leading position in the wearable device market, with more than 20 million registered users, it is positive news for Inventec to get the company’s orders.

MOMENTUM

“While growth momentum of Inventec’s PCs, notebooks and smartphones is relatively weak this year, the company needs to rely on Fitbit’s orders to achieve its annual shipment goal of 100 million devices this year,” a Yuanta analyst, who declined to be named, said by telephone.

The analyst said Taiwanese manufactures, such as Compal Electronics Co (仁寶電腦) and Quanta Computer Inc (廣達) all have orders for wearable devices, but added that if the shipment volume is not large enough, the wearable device manufacturing business would not be meaningful to the company.

The analyst said that Fitbit sold as much as 10.9 million wearable devices last year and that he is upbeat about Fitbit’s orders for Inventec boosting the firm’s shipment volume this year and generating revenue for the company.

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