5G to drive smart device sales across the board

Business | Agencies and Stella Zhai 23 Jan 2020

Research house Gartner yesterday forecast that more intelligent products will be sold this year, as Apple revealed plans to assemble a new low-cost iPhone in February and Foxconn, one of its suppliers, pledged to begin production in the United States sometime this year.

Gartner forecast that sales of personal computers, handsets and smartwatches will expand 0.9 percent from 2019 to 2.16 billion this year, driven by the developing 5G technology.

The institution expects 5G smartphones to take up 12 percent of total handset shipments this year, particularly driven by the emerging greater China and Asian markets. The proportion is expected to increase to 43 percent by 2022, it added.

In other news, Apple suppliers plan to begin assembling a new low-cost iPhone in February, people familiar with the plan said, as the company looks to address a wider swath of the global smartphone market ahead of its 5G handsets later this year.

The Cupertino, California-based company is expected to officially unveil the new phone as early as March, sources said.

This would be the first low-cost iPhone model since the iPhone SE.

The new phone is expected to have Touch ID built into the home button, reusing established Apple technology instead of opting for an in-display fingerprint sensor like most modern Android rivals.

Elsewhere, Foxconn founder and chairman Terry Gou Tai-ming pledged to begin production at a long-delayed electronics plant in Wisconsin, United States, sometime this year, kick-starting a signature US project that's expected to play a pivotal role in expanding the billionaire's manufacturing empire.

Gou said the factory will be up and running in 2020 and drive his company's vision of manufacturing components for fifth-generation wireless and artificial intelligence applications, without elaborating.

Gou, who failed in his bid to contest the Taiwanese presidential elections, added he will spend a lot of time in the US this year and intends to send more employees over.

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