Market News

TAIPEI, TAIWAN – April wasn’t a good month for handset makers in Taiwan. Sales fell 4.4% sequentially to 519,000 units, the lowest level since 2007, says DigiTimes.
In terms of unit sales for the top five Taiwanese vendors, Nokia took the top position with a 29.7% share. Sony Ericsson came in second at 19.2%. Samsung had an 18.7% share, followed by LGE with an 11.9% share. Motorola claimed last place with only a 4.2% share, reports DigiTimes.
TOYKO -- Sony Corp. will cut the number of suppliers it uses to 1,200 from 2,500 within the next year as the company tries to reverse its first net loss in 14 years.

The company, one of the world's largest consumer electronics OEMs, plans to cut purchasing costs by about 20% -- roughly $5.3 billion -- in fiscal 2010, a company spokeswoman said today.

The firm's suppliers were told of the impending change this week, although it is unclear whether they have been informed of their future status with the company.

The firm also said it would centralize its procurement operations, with the goal of getting better pricing and other terms. Traditionally, Sony has left it to its operating units to develop approved supplier lists and contract terms.
STAMFORD, CT -- First-quarter cellphone sales fell 8.6% to 269.1 million units worldwide, with only two of the top five providers showing growth.

Smartphone sales were the bright spot, growing 12.7% to 36.4 million units, Gartner said.

 Of the top five providers, only No. 2 Samsung and No. 3 LG grew.

Market leader Nokia shipped 97.4 million units, down from 115.2 million last year. Samsung's share jumped 7.4 points to 19.1% on the strength of 51.4 million units sold, up from vs. 42.4 million units last year. LG sold 26.5 million units, up from 23.6 million units.

Motorola saw the biggest percentage drop, selling just 16.6 million units a year after moving 29.9 million units. Sony Ericsson sold 14.5 million units, down from 22.1 million units.

In smartphones, Nokia moved 15 million units (41.2% share), up 3%. No. 2 Research In Motion sold 7.2 million units, up 67%. Apple sold 129% more units -- 3.9 million, good for a 5.3% share. HTC sold 2 million units, up 54% and Fujitsu gained 8% to 1.4 million units.

SAN JOSE -- In a final determination, the International Trade Commission has found for Tessera Technologies in its patent infringement claim against certain wireless manufacturers.

Investigation No. 337-TA-605 (Wireless ITC action) finds that Tessera’s asserted patents are valid and infringed. The ITC issued a Limited Exclusion Order that prohibits the importation of certain infringing electronic devices that use Tessera’s patented technology, imported by or on behalf of the named respondents. The Commission also issued a cease and desist order against Motorola, Qualcomm, Freescale and Spansion, directing them to cease selling infringing articles out of their US inventories.

Respondents in the Wireless ITC action also included ATI Technologies and ST Microelectronics. 

“This is a powerful victory for Tessera and the rights of patent holders everywhere,” said Henry R. Nothhaft, president and CEO of Tessera, in a statement. “The ITC’s decision establishes that the patents in this case are valid and enforceable, and sends a positive message to other innovators that depend on their patent rights to protect their inventions against would-be infringers.”

The patents in question are U.S. Patent No. 6,433,419 (‘419) and U.S. Patent No. 5,852,326 (‘326).

AUSTIN, TX -- Mobile phones are ringing up big sales for touch screen makers as about 220 million units were shipped for mobile phone applications in 2008. And the penetration rate in 2008 -- 16% -- will reach nearly 40% by 2015, says DisplaySearch.

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WASHINGTON -- A new House bill proposes to prohibit the manufacture after July 1, 2010 of “electroindustry products” that contain lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, polybrominated biphenyls (“PBBs”), and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (“PBDEs”) above the maximum concentration levels specified in the European Union’s RoHS Directive.

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