Apple orders spur growth for Taiwanese parts makers

Touch display manufacturers Wintek and TPK Holding reported strong Q1 revenues

Two Taiwanese firms that make touchscreen panels for Apple have reported sharp first-quarter revenue gains, which analysts said came from soaring demand for iPhones and iPads.

Taiwanese firms supplying components for Apple’s products will continue to see strong revenue growth this year, these analysts said.

Wintek's revenue shot up 181 percent to NT$21 billion (US$717 million at the exchange rate on the last day of the quarter) compared to the same period of 2010. The company made a net profit of NT$1.36 billion, up from a loss in the first quarter of last year. The company said on Thursday that its revenue was up on improved demand for iPhones and iPads.

Last year 60 percent of the flat-panel maker's business came from Apple, which should reach 70 percent this year, a company official said.

Fellow Taiwanese panel maker TPK Holding said its quarterly revenue had risen 398 percent year-on-year to NT$25.3 billion, with net profits of NT$2.5 billion up 658 percent. TPK would not say how much of its business is from Apple, but analysts said it comes to around half.

"Of course Apple is the main reason (for revenue gains), to be precise the touch panel module," said Ian Peng, an analyst with DigiTimes Research in Taipei. "TPK is integrated with Apple’s products."

Sales of the iPhone 4 and the first iPad drove most of the quarter's demand, Peng said, noting that the iPad 2 had little impact on earnings of parts suppliers because of shipment delays.

Apple shipped 18.65 million iPhones in the first quarter, up 113 percent from the same period a year earlier. It also moved 4.69 million iPads, which began selling in April 2010, over the quarter.

Apple will ship 39.7 million iPads this year, market research firm IHS iSuppli forecast.

Taiwanese firms such as Compeq Manufacturing, Dynapack, GCE, and Simplo Technology also make parts for Apple products, analysts in Taipei said. The island's Foxconn Electronics does final assembly of the products.

Parts suppliers will continue to see strong revenues as Apple rolls out new high-end products every year, David Wolf, CEO of Wolf Group Asia in Beijing, said.

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Tags WintekPhonesiPhonehardware systemslaptopstablet PCsComponentsTPK HoldingsdisplaysAppleconsumer electronics

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