Wed, Mar 23, 2016 - Page 13 News List

Pegatron chair optimistic over iPhone handset

By Lauly Li  /  Staff reporter

Pegatron Corp (和碩) chairman Tung Tzu-hsien (童子賢) yesterday said that he is optimistic about the sales outlook for Apple Inc’s newly launched 4-inch iPhone SE and expects the high-performance and relatively low-cost handset to meet the demand for certain markets.

“I should not comment on one of Pegatron’s client, but if half of the world’s population has not yet enjoyed the technology brought by smartphones or tablets, then there is a huge business opportunity out there,” Tung told reporters on the sidelines of the Smart City Summit and Expo opening ceremony at the Nangang Exhibition Hall in Taipei.

Tung’s remarks came after Apple on Monday unveiled the 4-inch iPhone SE.

Priced starting from US$399, it is seen to be targeting more cost-sensitive markets.

Tung said average income levels vary significantly in different regions of the world, with consumers in some markets preferring to purchase high-performance, low-cost products.

“An important international company announced a new product on Monday, which we guess is targeting a different segment of consumers compared with previous models,” Tung said, adding that Apple’s previous handset models were larger and more expensive compared with the iPhone SE.

Tung said he is upbeat about the outlook for the iPhone SE, as he believes that customers who could not afford previous iPhone models would be interested in purchasing the latest handset.

“I believe the business opportunity could be worth hundreds of billion of US dollars if the company’s product meets demand,” Tung said.

SHIPMENT FORECAST

Commenting on market analysts’ forecasts of annual shipments of the iPhone SE of 12 million units this year, far less than Apple’s other handsets, Tung said the market should not blindly seek significant growth in shipments every year.

“I hope the stock markets and analysts have not been spoiled by record growth in shipments over the past seven or eight years, because it is not healthy for the industry’s development in the long term if people always expect incredible shipment performances every time the company launches a new product,” Tung said.

STEADY GROWTH

He said that it is better for a company to grow steadily and strengthen its foothold in the industry gradually.

It is believed that Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密) is the main assembler for the iPhone SE, and that Pegatron did not enter the supply chain for the 4-inch model.

Pegatron chief executive officer Jason Cheng (程建中) on Thursday last week said the company’s operations in the first half of this year would be slow due to seasonality, implying that the firm was not involved in assembly of the 4-inch model.

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