Far EasTone Telecommunications Co (FET, 遠傳電信) yesterday launched wireless smart speakers, the latest of many new gadgets other than mobile phones that the telecom is using to boost subscriptions to mobile services as mobile phone replacement cycles lengthen.
As part of its strategic shift, the telecom is looking to devices that incorporate the Internet of Things (IoT), big data and artificial intelligence (AI) as new revenue drivers, because revenue from wireless connectivity is falling due to cutthroat competition.
The smart speakers are the first consumer IoT device that the telecom has unveiled toward achieving that goal, the company said.
Along with smart speakers launched earlier last year, Far EasTone this year aims to triple the sale of smart home gadgets, consumer business unit vice president Belinda Chen (陳萍坽) told reporters yesterday.
The company said it has sold about 20,000 smart speakers since their launch in June last year.
Chen said her confidence is based on the rapid adoption of smart speakers in the US, where the penetration rate climbed to 24 percent in just four years.
Given Taiwan’s 8 million households, Far FasTone estimates that about 2 million smart speakers could be sold over four years, Chen said, adding that the telecom aims to be the market leader.
The telecom is targeting mobile subscribers who last year switched to NT$499 service plans with unlimited 4G data without getting subsidies on mobile phones or hardware.
As a growing number of subscribers prefer subsidies on electronic devices rather than smartphones, Far EasTone said it would keep broadening its offerings to meet their needs.
The global market for smart speakers is expected to grow 63 percent year-on-year to US$7 billion this year, from US$4.3 billion last year, making it the fastest-growing category of connected devices in history, a forecast by accounting firm Deloitte showed.
Shipments of smart speakers are expected to increase to 164 million units this year, up 67 percent from 98 million units last year, Deloitte said last month in its annual report on technology, media and telecommunications trends.
Far EasTone subscribers can get a free smart speaker when subscribing to a 4G service plan with a 30 or 24-month contract.
Chunghwa Telecom Co (中華電信), the nation’s biggest telecom, yesterday said it has set up a task force, or “strategic transformation office,” to concentrate resources on growth in 5G, Internet-only banking, IoT, big data, AI and smart home businesses.
The firm said it expects to see results within three years.
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