The nation’s 5G smartphone penetration rate is forecast to climb to 80 percent by the end of the year, as more affordable handsets become commercially available, Samsung Electronics Taiwan Co (台灣三星電子) said yesterday.
“The price of entry-level 5G handsets will probably drop to NT$7,000 to NT$8,000 by the end of the year,” Samsung Taiwan vice president Jacob Chen (陳啟蒙) told reporters during the launch of the company’s new flagship S21 5G smartphone series in Taipei.
That represents a significant price drop from NT$12,000 at present, he said.
Samsung is lowering handset prices as 5G component supply chains mature, Chen said, adding that folding phones are also likely to see a price drop.
Prices for the S21 series are NT$4,000 to NT$7,000 lower compared with the previous generation. Samsung expects sales of the new 5G phones to increase 20 percent compared with the S20 series, Chen said.
“The sales of flagship handsets were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020,” he said.
However, market penetration for 5G accounts would lag significantly behind handset penetration, he said.
“Telecoms have been proactive in encouraging users to upgrade to 5G, but so far we haven’t seen a ‘killer app,’” he said.
Following the debut of 5G services last year, about 35 percent of Taiwanese mobile users are forecast to upgrade to 5G services by the end of this year, Chen said.
Noting that handsets priced at more than NT$20,000 account for 40 percent of the Taiwanese market, but make up 70 percent of the market value, Chen said the focus for Samsung is on the flagship model market.
“We aim to be No. 1 in the Taiwan high-end Android market,” he said.
The S21, S21+ and S21 Ultra are to go on sale on Jan. 29 in Taiwan.
Tesla Inc temporarily halted some production at its auto assembly plant in California because of problems with its supply chain, but work has begun to resume, CEO Elon Musk told employees in an e-mail on Thursday. “We are experiencing some parts supply issues, so took the opportunity to bring Fremont production down for a few days to do equipment upgrades and maintenance,” Musk said in an all-staff message seen by Bloomberg. The factory was “back up and running as of yesterday,” and would rapidly ramp up to full production of Model 3 and Model Y cars “over the next several days,”
Boeing Co on Sunday called for the grounding of 128 of its 777 planes around the world as US regulators investigated a United Airlines Holdings Inc flight whose engine caught fire and fell apart over a suburban city. United and Japan’s two main airlines confirmed they had already suspended operations of 56 planes fitted with the same engine that fell apart mid-flight over Colorado on Saturday. The US National Transportation and Safety Board (NTSB) is also investigating the incident, in which no one was hurt. Boeing said similarly fitted planes should be taken out of service until the US Federal Aviation Authority
The production value of Taiwan’s semiconductor industry grew 20.9 percent year-on-year to NT$3.22 trillion (US$113.6 billion) last year, and it is expected to build on that performance this year, the Industrial Technology Research Institute’s (工研院) Industry, Science and Technology International Strategy Center said yesterday. The global semiconductor market grew 6.8 percent to US$440.4 billion last year, boosted by robust demand from the digital transformation and growing stay-at-home economy seen during the COVID-19 pandemic, the center said. That strength is likely to carry over to this year, leading to an 8.6 percent increase in domestic output to a new record NT$3.49 trillion,
United Microelectronics Corp (UMC, 聯電), the world’s No. 3 contract chipmaker, yesterday said that its board of directors has approved a plan to pay a cash dividend of NT$1.6 per share this year, up from NT$0.75 last year and the highest in 21 years. Based on the plan, UMC would pay NT$19.88 billion (US$702.32 million) in cash dividends to shareholders this year. The payout ratio was about 66 percent, as the company earned NT$2.42 per share last year. The planned dividend represents a yield of 2.93 percent, based on the stock’s closing price of NT$54.7 yesterday. The payout plan is subject to shareholders’ approval