Global networking and mobile communications industries' shipment volume is estimated to reach around US$447.0 billion in 2013, up 11.1% year-on-year, according to Taiwan's MIC (Market Intelligence & Consulting Institute), an ICT industry research institute based in Taipei. On the full-year basis, shipment value of the Taiwanese networking and mobile communications industries is expected to top around US$77.9 billion in 2013, representing a 14.2% year-on-year growth. The growth will be mainly attributed to orders outsourced by Apple and Sony and the rise of LTE technology. Of the total wireless communications products, WPAN (Wireless Personal Area Network) products are expected to grow by 20% in 2013 such that the share of WPAN products with Bluetooth connectivity is also on the rise; of the total networking communications products, the share of surveillance products is anticipated to grow by 30% in 2013, the highest growth among them.
In 2012, MIC predicts that shipment value of Taiwanese ICT industry inclusive of telecom components exported to overseas will top around US$68.2 billion, growing at 12.3% year-on-year. Driven by the growing popularity of smartphones, the mobile communications industry's shipment value is estimated to arrive at around NT$1.35 trillion in 2012, up 13.6% year-on-year; in the wireless communications industry, the increasing shipment of iPhones is expected to continuously bolster Wi-Fi (Wireless-Fidelity) SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) module growth. Coupled with the rise of other applications such as digital still cameras, and smart connected networks, the wireless communications industry's shipment value is expected to see strong growth in 2012, reaching approximately NT$91.5 billion in 2012, up 12.5% year-on-year. Whereas in the network communications industry, driven by the evolution of smart connected networks into smart homes and the emergence of digital convergence, the industry is expected to see a 12.3% year-on-year growth in 2012 to around NT$296.5 billion.
In the mobile communications industry, there are several key issues in 2012. Global smartphone market volume is estimated to reach around 682.0 million units in 2012, around 10% of which will be LTE-supported products. With the number of telecom operators ready for LTE commercialization increasing from 47 in 2011 to 144 in 2012, coupled with the LTE support found in the Apple iPhone 5, it is projected that the share of LTE smartphones will reach over 20% in 2013. Currently, the smartphone industry is dominated by three groups including Apple, Google, and Microsoft. The ownership of several core patents with respect to hardware manufacturing and software services including user interface design has put Apple at an advantage in patent disputes; Google leads the development of services applications on Android and collaborates with several branded vendors such as Samsung and HTC. Microsoft is dedicated to the development of software and services for Windows phones and collaborates closely with Nokia, which provides hardware manufacturing capability. Although the Microsoft-Nokia partnership seems to be unbeatable when facing patent disputes, it still remains to be seen whether such collaboration can help Nokia make a strong comeback to the smartphone industry.
Regarding wireless communications, under the trend of digital convergence, other than upgrading their existing TV broadcasting content to become digitalized, telecom operators would also integrate OTT (Over-The-Top) content, gradually moving towards the development of cloud-based multimedia platforms so as to provide multi-screen and multi-room integrated services. This is expected to drive the development of set top boxes towards multi-functional home gateways. With the growing popularity of IP video streaming services, telecom operators and/or content suppliers have been actively deploying CDNs (Content Delivery Networks) in order to enhance multimedia transmission quality. In addition, the development of online video streaming protocol MPEG-DASH and HTML5, the next generation of the HTML standard, is near maturity and is supported by many branded vendors. The abovementioned market opportunities are expected to emerge during 2013, becoming next growth wave for the global as well as Taiwanese ICT Industries amid the gloomy economic situation.
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Market Intelligence & Consulting Institute (MIC), based in Taipei, Taiwan, was founded in 1987. MIC is Taiwan's premier IT industry research and consulting firm providing intelligence, in-depth analysis, and strategic consulting services on global IT product and technology trends. MIC is part of the Institute for Information Industry. https://mic.iii.org.tw/english