Inventec Corp (英業達), one of the two assemblers for Apple Inc’s HomePod, has started shipping the US company’s long-awaited “smart” speaker with an initial shipment of about 1 million units, industry sources said.
“The Taiwanese company has begun HomePod shipments. However, revenue contribution from the product to Inventec is expected to be limited this quarter, as the initial shipment is not large,” a source in HomePod’s supply chain told the Taipei Times by telephone on condition of anonymity.
Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密) is the other assembler of HomePods.
HomePod shipments this year are expected to reach between 10 million and 12 million units, with Inventec and Hon Hai each fulfilling half of the orders, the source said.
Apple unveiled its first voice-controlled smart speaker during the company’s Worldwide Developers Conference in June last year.
HomePod was previously scheduled to hit the markets before the end of last year, but Apple in November issued a statement saying that it needed more time before the product is ready for customers.
Apple at the time said the product would be available early this year in the US, UK and Australia. It did not specify a time frame.
The delay in HomePod’s launch was caused by the fine-tuning of software and hardware integration, said another industry source who also declined to be named due to the sensitivity of the issue.
As the companies in HomePod’s supply chain received a shipment notice from Apple at the beginning of this month, it is believed that the product is to hit the markets soon, the second source said.
Apple had not updated HomePod release information on its Web site as of yesterday.
Inventec and Hon Hai declined to comment on the matter.
In related news, Inventec said it expects revenue to contract by 15 percent this quarter from last quarter’s NT$132.66 billion (US$4.49 billion), as the industry enters a traditional slow season.
Inventec manufactures a wide range of electronics from notebook computers, servers and smartphones, to wearables and wireless earpieces.
In addition to HomePod, Inventec assembles Apple’s AirPod.
Shares of Inventec gained 0.43 percent to close at NT$23.3 in Taipei trading yesterday, while Hon Hai rose 1.63 percent to NT$93.3. The TAIEX rose 0.66 percent.
STEPPING UP: The firm has also asked employees to work in split shifts from this week and to halt all but essential overseas business travel from next month Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) has implemented a remote work policy for employees not on production lines in an attempt to curb the spread of COVID-19, the world’s largest contract chipmaker said yesterday. This is the first time in the Hsinchu-based company’s history that it has launched a large-scale remote work policy, joining global technology companies, such as Apple Inc and Google, that encourage employees to work from home. The chipmaker has also asked employees to work in split shifts from this week, it said. As the number of virus infections continues to climb worldwide, TSMC has urged employees to halt unnecessary
A two-hour drive south of Amsterdam in Veldhoven, workers decked out head-to-toe in protective gear toil in vast assembly halls. Before entering the inner sanctuary of the facilities, they meticulously layer on masks, gloves and special socks. A single speck of dust or a hair can have devastating effects on production. The result of all this painstaking process is an environment that is 10,000 times more purified than outside. As COVID-19 grips the world, it might just be the safest place to work right now. The teams belong to ASML Holding NV, which holds a de facto monopoly on the industry of
DBS Bank Ltd yesterday hacked its GDP growth forecast for Taiwan this year to 0.9 percent, down from its estimate of 2.3 percent two months earlier, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and increasing financial market volatility. The bank’s latest forecast was even lower than London-based IHS Markit Ltd’s estimate of 1 percent, while other research institutes’ projections range from 1.6 percent to 2.6 percent. Taiwan’s economic momentum is being negatively affected by the pandemic, DBS said. The rapid spread of the disease from Asia to Europe and the US has dampened the bank’s previous expectation of a “V-shaped” global rebound in the
DOWNSIDE RISKS: Firms have a ‘very low’ chance of boosting investment returns in the next two years, making it hard for them to improve their capitalization, an analyst said Taiwanese life insurers wanting to improve their capital structure face strong headwinds this year, given prolonged low interest rates and economic impacts derived from trade protectionism and the COVID-19 pandemic, Taiwan Ratings Corp (中華信評) said on Friday. The local life insurance sector also still has high asset risks and such risks are susceptible to market volatility, the local arm of Standard & Poor’s Global Ratings said. Since last year, major financial holding companies — including CTBC Financial Holding Co (中信金控), Cathay Financial Holding Co (國泰金控) and Shin Kong Financial Holding Co (新光金控) — have announced plans to raise fresh capital to