Taiwan Tech Firms Expect Strong Orders For Apple’s iPhone 11

Details of an iPhone 11 Pro Max smartphone.

Details of an iPhone 11 Pro Max smartphone.

Alex Tai/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Apple started pre-selling its iPhone 11 and 11 Pro in September, confirming its first double-digit model after the X. The Silicon Valley icon will all but surely hire a list of contractors in Asia to help make the handsets on their way to markets around the world. Taiwan, a world tech hardware hub of some 50 years, normally gets a big part of the job. The orders add crucial support to a tech sector that faces competition from overseas.

This time, Taiwanese suppliers and assemblers should expect at least the same level of orders that Apple has extended before to build earlier iPhone models, and maybe a bit more, analysts say. The Sino-U.S. trade war may be disrupting Apple’s China contracts, they say, while a new location-tracking chip for the iPhone 11 should add business for one of Taiwan’s chief semiconductor producers.

“Japan, Korea and China tend to supply the bigger-ticket components, like displays, batteries or memory,” says Neil Mawston, executive director of wireless practice with market research firm Strategy Analytics in the United Kingdom. However, he adds, “Apple has increased its use of Taiwanese component suppliers and assemblers in recent years, quietly reducing some reliance on Chinese firms.”

Contractors in Taiwan normally supply smaller or mid-sized components, such as metal casings, packaging or chips to iPhones. Apple is used to picking Japanese and South Korean electronics firms for these contracts, too.

List of regular Taiwanese contractors

Tech experts point to at least 17 Taiwanese firms they believe will assemble the iPhone 11 or provide parts for it. “Compared to previous iPhones, Taiwanese firms continue to play a significant role” in the 11, says Eddie Han, senior industry analyst with the Taipei-based Market Intelligence & Consulting Institute.

Taiwan-based Largan Precision is expected to provide camera lenses, as it did for earlier iPhones. ASE Technology will do the phone’s packaging and TPK Holding will supply touch modules, Mawston forecasts. Catcher Technology, a producer of aluminum and magnesium die casting gear, is also on Apple’s list this time, Han says.

New York-listed Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) will make new U1 location-tracking chips that are unique to the new suite of phones, Han says.

Suburban Taipei-based Foxconn Technology, with 250,000 workers and $171 billion in 2018 revenues, and its crosstown peer Pegatron would assemble the iPhone 11, tech analysts expect. Both turn the work over to factories in China.

More on Forbes: Apple's Supply Chain Attracts Criticism For Performance But Also Praise For Sustainability

Some camera lens orders may also to go Genius Electronic Optical of central Taiwan, Taipei-based market research firm TrendForce expects. The Taiwanese firm Win Semiconductors will provide 3D sensing modules for the 11 as it did for the iPhone X, TrendForce says. It expects Simplo Technology to supply battery packs for the 11.

Share prices for these companies may reflect confidence in orders. Genius Electronic Optical prices were up 172% year-to-date through Oct. 2, for example, while Pegatron shares had grown 8.8% and TPK’s had firmed by 19.2%.

“The main assemblers of this year’s iPhone models are also Taiwan-based (contract) firms that have been working with Apple for some time,” TrendForce says in a statement for this report.

Neither Apple nor its contractors normally comment on parts and assembly deals.

More orders than normal

More orders may be flowing to Taiwan for the 11, compared to previous models, because of trade dispute, Mawston suggests.

Sino-U.S. trade friction now well into its second year has led to import tariffs on $550 billion worth of goods shipped from China to the United States, making exports of electronic components more expensive. The latest round of tariffs covers $125 billion worth of Chinese merchandise including numerous consumer electronics categories.

“We think Taiwan’s role in the iPhone will increase this year and into the 2020s, due to international trade wars that are quietly drawing some business away from China,” Mawston says.

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Apple started pre-selling its iPhone 11 and 11 Pro in September, confirming its first double-digit model after the X. The Silicon Valley icon will all but surely hire a list of contractors in Asia to help make the handsets on their way to markets around the world. Taiwan, a world tech hardware hub of some 50 years, normally gets a big part of the job. The orders add crucial support to a tech sector that faces competition from overseas.

This time, Taiwanese suppliers and assemblers should expect at least the same level of orders that Apple has extended before to build earlier iPhone models, and maybe a bit more, analysts say. The Sino-U.S. trade war may be disrupting Apple’s China contracts, they say, while a new location-tracking chip for the iPhone 11 should add business for one of Taiwan’s chief semiconductor producers.

“Japan, Korea and China tend to supply the bigger-ticket components, like displays, batteries or memory,” says Neil Mawston, executive director of wireless practice with market research firm Strategy Analytics in the United Kingdom. However, he adds, “Apple has increased its use of Taiwanese component suppliers and assemblers in recent years, quietly reducing some reliance on Chinese firms.”

Contractors in Taiwan normally supply smaller or mid-sized components, such as metal casings, packaging or chips to iPhones. Apple is used to picking Japanese and South Korean electronics firms for these contracts, too.

List of regular Taiwanese contractors

Tech experts point to at least 17 Taiwanese firms they believe will assemble the iPhone 11 or provide parts for it. “Compared to previous iPhones, Taiwanese firms continue to play a significant role” in the 11, says Eddie Han, senior industry analyst with the Taipei-based Market Intelligence & Consulting Institute.

Taiwan-based Largan Precision is expected to provide camera lenses, as it did for earlier iPhones. ASE Technology will do the phone’s packaging and TPK Holding will supply touch modules, Mawston forecasts. Catcher Technology, a producer of aluminum and magnesium die casting gear, is also on Apple’s list this time, Han says.

New York-listed Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) will make new U1 location-tracking chips that are unique to the new suite of phones, Han says.

Suburban Taipei-based Foxconn Technology, with 250,000 workers and $171 billion in 2018 revenues, and its crosstown peer Pegatron would assemble the iPhone 11, tech analysts expect. Both turn the work over to factories in China.

More on Forbes: Apple's Supply Chain Attracts Criticism For Performance But Also Praise For Sustainability

Some camera lens orders may also to go Genius Electronic Optical of central Taiwan, Taipei-based market research firm TrendForce expects. The Taiwanese firm Win Semiconductors will provide 3D sensing modules for the 11 as it did for the iPhone X, TrendForce says. It expects Simplo Technology to supply battery packs for the 11.

Share prices for these companies may reflect confidence in orders. Genius Electronic Optical prices were up 172% year-to-date through Oct. 2, for example, while Pegatron shares had grown 8.8% and TPK’s had firmed by 19.2%.

“The main assemblers of this year’s iPhone models are also Taiwan-based (contract) firms that have been working with Apple for some time,” TrendForce says in a statement for this report.

Neither Apple nor its contractors normally comment on parts and assembly deals.

More orders than normal

More orders may be flowing to Taiwan for the 11, compared to previous models, because of trade dispute, Mawston suggests.

Sino-U.S. trade friction now well into its second year has led to import tariffs on $550 billion worth of goods shipped from China to the United States, making exports of electronic components more expensive. The latest round of tariffs covers $125 billion worth of Chinese merchandise including numerous consumer electronics categories.

“We think Taiwan’s role in the iPhone will increase this year and into the 2020s, due to international trade wars that are quietly drawing some business away from China,” Mawston says.

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As a news reporter I have covered some of everything since 1988, from my alma mater U.C. Berkeley to the Great Hall of the People in Beijing where I followed Communist o...