Chinese handset OEMs start to drive sensor demand, says IHS

Chinese handset OEMs start to drive sensor demand, says IHS

Market news |
By eeNews Europe

In 2014 Apple bought nearly 50 percent of the sensors going into smartphones and Samsung more than 20 percent, but by 2019 Chinese handset OEMs will be displacing Apple and Samsung, IHS forecasts.

Apple’s share of the market spending is set to go from 47 percent in 2014 to 34 percent in 2019, the market researcher said. Over the same time Samsung’s share will decline from 23 percent to 15 percent.

Sensor consumption share in value by handset supplier. Source: IHS.

Meanwhile Chinese original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) led by Xiaomi is set to go from 20 percent in 2014 to 40 percent in 2019.

Samsung is suffering because its unit shipments are falling in a rising market. It suffers from Apple’s competition at the high-end and from competition from Chinese competitors in the low-end and mid-range smartphones.

Next: China favors domestic suppliers

China is proving a suitable market for sensor suppliers trying to enter the smartphone market as the Chinese OEMs are willing to try many novel sensors as they try to differentiate their phones, IHS said. The Chinese government’s decision to support local companies has led to an increase in local manufacturing and sourcing of electronic components.

However today there are only a handful of suppliers that can supply in sufficient volume and quality with a relatively narrow portfolio of products. These companies include AAC Technologies and GoerTek, for microphones; MEMSIC, for accelerometers and magnetometers; and QST and some other emerging Chinese startups for motion sensors.

"With the Chinese government’s strategic goal to increase the share of domestic suppliers, there is an opportunity for Chinese suppliers to expand their portfolios and become the preferred suppliers for Chinese OEMs," said Marwan Boustany, senior analyst with IHS Technology. At the moment, though, it seems that Chinese OEMs are happy to use any supplier that fulfils their volume, performance and price requirements."

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