TAIPEI, Taiwan — Foxconn’s Terry Gou (郭台銘), chairman of the world’s largest manufacturer of consumer electronics, yesterday said he hopes 70 percent of assembly can be automated within three years. Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., which trades as Foxconn Technology Group, sees robotics as a major investment direction for the coming year, Gou said at a prayer ceremony marking the Year of the Goat.
TAIPEI, Taiwan — Chunghwa Telecom Co. (中華電信), Taiwan’s largest mobile provider, gave an assurance Thursday that its customers’ privacy remains secure, despite the alleged hacking of SIM card encryption keys based on technology of Gemalto, the world’s largest maker of mobile SIM cards. “Based on Gemalto’s response to Chunghwa Telecom, there is no evidence or concern that our customers’ SIM card encryption keys have been exposed in transit,” Lin Kuo-feng (林國豐), president of Chunghwa Telecom’s mobile business group, told a media gathering to announce the company’s 2015 annual targets.
TAIPEI, Taiwan — Taiwanese jobseekers’ interest in China has declined to a six-year low due partly to China’s economic slowdown, according to a 1111 Job Bank (1111人力銀行) survey released yesterday. The Taipei-based online job bank surveyed 1,103 people via email from Feb. 2 to Feb. 16, with a 2.95-percentage-point margin of error and 95-percent confidence level. About 61 percent of respondents claimed a personal interest in working in China, down 9 percentage points from 2009 and setting a new six-year low.
TAIPEI–Taiwan’s Asustek Computer Inc. (華碩) could turn to a second mobile operating system for future smartwatches in order to achieve longer battery life, leaving behind the Android Wear system used on its current ZenWatch, company CEO Jerry Shen (沈振來) said. Shen confirmed however that Asustek will use Google Inc.’s Android Wear in one of its second-generation ZenWatch models before any possible future changes occur.
TAIPEI–Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC台積電) and MediaTek Inc.(聯發科) moved up in a ranking of top research and development spenders in the semiconductor industry, according to a report released Tuesday by market research firm IC Insights. TSMC’s 15 percent R&D spending increase in 2014, along with a decline in spending at Toshiba Corp. and STMicroelectronics NV, helped the Taiwanese company climb two slots to fifth place in the annual ranking.
TAIPEI–Taiwanese computer maker Acer Inc. (宏碁) is set to unveil a new smartphone running on the mobile version of Microsoft Corp.’s Windows operating system, at the Mobile World Congress trade show in Spain next week. The Windows-based handset will be released alongside Acer’s new Android-powered Jade smartphone and a wearable device at the MWC, the world’s biggest mobile show scheduled for March 2-5 in Barcelona.
TAIPEI–Taiwan’s Acer Inc. (宏碁) unveiled two new cloud application solutions Tuesday for enterprises and individual consumers in an effort to transform itself into a company that integrates hardware manufacturing with software and services. The first solution is the abPBX plus series — a global communications network for businesses based on Internet Protocol communication — which Acer says integrates traditional telephony systems and desk phones with smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices to offer greater work efficiency and cost reductions.
HTC is preparing to launch its 2015 flagship smartphone at the Mobile World Congress on March 1. And like last year, photo leaks arrived a few days before the announcement. It looks like the HTC One M9 design will remain identical to the HTC One (M8) with a metallic unibody in silver, black or gold. The major difference this year is the camera will be a square black lens rather than a circular transparent lens from last year.
NEW DELHI: Xiaomi will be taking legal action against websites selling its phones illegally and infringing on the company’s trademark in India where the Chinese handset maker has an ongoing patent dispute with Ericsson. The Swedish telecom equipment maker had alleged earlier this month that Xiaomi was selling Mediatek-powered smartphones through Xiaomishop.com, in violation of an interim order of the Delhi High Court that allowed the company to only sell Qualcomm chipset smartphones.
Taiwanese fabless semiconductor company MediaTek published its financial report for the fourth quarter and the entire year of 2014. According to the report, the company achieved operating revenue of NTD213.063 billion, which was about CNY42.3 billion, in 2014, a year-on-year increase of 56.6%; and it achieved net profit of NTD46.399 billion, which was about CNY9.2 billion, a year-on-year increase of 68.8%.
Output value for the global IC foundry industry is forecast to reach US$54.8 billion in 2015, up 12% from US$49 billion in 2014, according to Digitimes Research. IC demand for 4G smartphones will fuel the foundry sector’s 12% output value growth in 2015, despite several unfavorable factors such as decelerating tablet sales, the continued-slow growth in PC shipments, and an overall slowdown in the growth of smartphone shipments, said Digitimes Research.
A large increase in the use of helium-filled hard disk drives (HDDs) in data centers is expected in 2015 mainly because more platters can be held in an HDD of the same volume than an air-filled HDD, according to HGST president Mike Cordano. Along with fast increasing use of mobile terminal devices and development of the Internet of Things (IoT) and Big Data applications, global quantity of produced digital data is expected to double every two years, Cordano said.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Limited announced on its website that the company will invest over NTD500 billion, which is about USD15.9 billion, to build a new plant to meet the ever-growing demands for chips. The new plant will be located in Central Taiwan Science Park and it is currently undergoing an environmental impact assessment.
Asustek Computer saw net profit of NT$4.509 billion (US$143 million) for the fourth quarter of 2014 decrease by 22.41% on quarter and by 20.77% on year mainly due to loss of NT$713 million from foreign exchange, the company said at an investors conference on February 13. Notebook and 2-in-1 hybrid models accounted for 56% of fourth-quarter 2014 consolidated revenues, smartphones for 14%, DIY motherboards and graphics cards for 11%, tablets for 8%, and others for 11%.
Tablet supply chains are evaluating their strategies for 2015 as overall shipments are expected to wither throughout the year, declining most heavily by an estimated 30% on quarter in the first quarter of the year. Tablet shipments are expected to reach 52.15 million in the quarter, with Apple and white-box units all expected to see over 20% declines.
Intel reportedly has informed its motherboard partners that it will delay the release of its 14nm Skylake desktop CPUs and corresponding 100-series chipsets to the end of August, compared to its original schedule set for the second quarter of 2015, according to sources in Taiwan’s motherboard industry.
Google is planning to push 2-in-1 devices in 2015, according Digitimes Research’s inquiries within the upstream supply chain. Google’s 2-in-1 Chromebook designed by Quanta Computer is expected to be completed by the end of the first quarter. The device features a detachable form factor and runs Android in the tablet form and Chrome when attached to a keyboard.
TAIPEI–MediaTek Inc. (聯發科), one of Taiwan’s leading integrated circuit designers, said Thursday that due to an increase in its smartphone chip shipments, the company has estimated that one in three smartphones in the global market uses its chips. In 2014, smartphone chip shipments of the Taiwanese IC designer topped 350 million units, up more than 50 percent from a year earlier, in reflection of strong global demand.
TAIPEI–Chinese smartphone brands gained higher consumer loyalty in their domestic market in 2014 at the expense of international vendors, including Apple Inc. and Taiwan’s HTC Corp. (宏達電), according to a research report. Although Apple still had greater brand loyalty than its Chinese competitors in 2014, the iPhone maker saw a decline in its brand loyalty in China last year, Taipei-based research firm TrendForce Corp. said in a Feb. 9 report.
TAIPEI — Taiwanese contract electronics makers Wistron Corp. (緯創) and Compal Electronics Inc. (仁寶) have been named as suppliers to Apple Inc., according to a report on the website of the U.S. electronics giant. Wistron has been building iPhones, while Compal has been assembling iPads, Apple’s 2014 supplier report said Thursday.