18 November 2010

Electronic component manufacturers experiencing upturn

Fortunately, certain Japanese manufacturers of leading technologies are apparently seeing an upturn in business conditions. This, according to an article (in Japanese) by the Weekly Toyo Keizai business magazine.

Article title: "スマートフォンが電子部品需要を牽引、村田、京セラの意外な活況"
(Electronic component demand driven by smartphones yields unexpected benefits for Murata and Kyocera, Weekly Toyo Keizai, November 12, 2010)

Some key points of the article follow:

  • Murata is increasing facilities investment in Japan and in China, particularly focusing on products such as ceramic capacitors and filter components. The company also plans to resume operations at previously closed facilities.
  • Kyocera has a backlog of orders, and its factories that manufacture components for electronic devices are operating at full capacity. The company has plans to expand semiconductor manufacturing capacity at their Kagoshima prefecture plant.
  • Nidec Corporation is building a plant in Guangdong province, China, that will produce miniature motors for optical disk drives and other components.
  • The article notes that recent trends will result in winners and losers:
    – Those who are poised to benefit include manufacturers of components used in smartphones, tablet PCs and 3D TVs.
    – On the other hand, those who may face continued difficulties include: LCD component manufacturers,
    low-priced digital device manufacturers hit by increased competition from Korean and other overseas manufacturers, and Japanese manufacturers of general components who may face increasingly severe price competition.
  • The article referred to an analyst's report issued by Goldman Sachs (related report here) stating that growing popularity of smartphones and other such devices will benefit manufacturers of capacitors and other passive components, but those manufacturing CPU packages and other such components may face calls for lower pricing.