Strong iPhone 6 demand boosts Taiwan export orders

Booming shipments of the iPhone 6 helped Taiwan's export orders jump 12.7 per cent in September year-on-year to a record US$43.3 billion (S$55 billion), the government said on Monday. -- PHOTO: AFP
Booming shipments of the iPhone 6 helped Taiwan's export orders jump 12.7 per cent in September year-on-year to a record US$43.3 billion (S$55 billion), the government said on Monday. -- PHOTO: AFP

TAIPEI (AFP) - Booming shipments of the iPhone 6 helped Taiwan's export orders jump 12.7 per cent in September year-on-year to a record US$43.3 billion (S$55 billion), the government said on Monday.

It marked an eighth straight month of growth in export orders for tech-rich Taiwan, the economic ministry said in a statement.

Orders for information and mobile devices rose 16.3 per cent from a year ago to US$12.9 billion, "mainly due to the launch of international brand name mobile devices that led to the significant increase of orders", the ministry said.

Taiwanese giant Hon Hai - the parent company of Foxconn in China and the world's largest computer components manufacturer - assembles products for Apple, as well as Sony and Nokia.

Its revenues surged 22.95 per cent year-on-year in September to NT$415.4 billion (S$17 billion).

Media reports say local firms Pegatron Corp worked on the assembly of the new iPhone and TSMC - the world's biggest contract microchip maker - manufactured its chips, although neither company has confirmed the contracts.

The economic ministry also credited rising demand for laptop computers for the boost in orders. Taiwanese firms produce laptops for a range of major brands including HP, Dell and Lenovo, while Acer alone has a 10.8 per cent global market share, according to Taipei-based Digitimes Research.

Export orders - those filed to manufacturers one or two months ahead of delivery - are a key indicator for the island's export-reliant economy.

Orders for electronic products surged 19.4 per cent year-on-year as the increased shipments of mobile devices spurred business for the semiconductor and computer memory storage sectors, the ministry said.

Export orders from the United States hit a record US$11.4 billion, up 15.5 per cent year-on-year and up 20.6 per cent from the previous month.

Orders from mainland China and Hong Kong, Taiwan's other major overseas markets, rose 8.6 percent year-on-year to US$10.4 billion.

Apple launched the iPhone 6 and larger-screen iPhone 6 Plus on Sept 19, selling 10 million units in the opening weekend.