Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密) is expected to be the sole assembler of Apple Inc’s new 4-inch iPhone next year, KGI Securities Co (凱基證券) said in a client note on Tuesday.
As there is still demand for 4-inch iPhones, KGI analyst Kuo Ming-chi (郭明錤) said Apple might begin to mass produce an upgraded 4-inch iPhone that would be based on iPhone 5S specifications in the first half of next year.
“As Hon Hai was the sole assembler for the iPhone 5S, we believe the company has a very high chance of receiving the order to assemble the upgraded 4-inch iPhone next year,” Kuo wrote.
That would help drive the company’s sales in the slow season at the beginning of next year, he said.
Hon Hai chairman Terry Gou (郭台銘) in June told shareholders that the company has a close relationship with Apple, in response to questions over the possibility of losing iPhone orders to rival Pegatron Corp (和碩).
The new 4-inch iPhone would be equipped an A9 processor, Kuo said, adding that he forecast shipments of between 20 million and 30 million units next year.
Apple would still allocate orders for A9 processors to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) and Samsung Electronics Co, Kuo said.
However, TSMC might become the sole supplier of A10 processors used in the new generation of iPhones, boosting the Taiwanese chipmaker’s sales in the second half of next year, Kuo said.
“TSMC’s InFo packaging technology for chips is obviously better than Samsung’s; therefore, it is very likely that TSMC would be the sole provider of A10 chips for the next-generation iPhone expected to be released next year,” Kuo said.
The next-generation iPhone might have two different RAM specifications, with the 4.7-inch model having 2GB RAM and the 5.5-inch one 3GB RAM, he said.
Hon Hai shares yesterday rose 1.03 percent to NT$88.70, while TSMC’s stock price surged 3.58 percent to NT$144.50.
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