In 2018, global smartphone production growth will slow and smartphone makers will face greater cost pressure as the prices of key components rise.
This is according to the latest research by TrendForce, which has predicted that production levels will rise by five per cent this year, a fall from the 6.5 per cent growth seen in 2017.
TrendForce has pointed out that in 2018, the smartphone growth trend will come “to a plateau period” despite some ambitious performances by Chinese brands. It has forecast that the industry will not be able to deliver the same results as in previous years, when double-digit growth was seen.
It is non-Chinese vendors that are expected to have a successful year, largely influenced by Apple’s iPhone X and its future flagship models. TrendForce has said these manufacturers are expected to reverse the decline they have faced since 2015, by recording growth of three per cent.
In comparison, TrendForce expects industry leader Samsung to remain at the top for smartphone production, but to experience a three per cent fall in volume because of the competition offered by rivals including Apple in the high-end market and a number of Chinese brands operating on the Android operating system.
When it comes to the supply chain, 2018’s iPhones are expected to continue to improve the newly developed Face ID technology and screen to body ratio, among other elements. In addition, Apple has plans to increase the memory content and embed the AMOLED display it incorporated in its iPhone X in two of its upcoming models.
TrendForce said that in order to meet the demand in different segments of the market, Apple will launch the second generation of the iPhone SE, which targets the mid-range.