The declining sales of personal computers (PCs) in early 2017, due to the growth of the tablet and smartphone market, has affected North America’s market share in the semiconductor market. As such, Asia-Pacific manufacturers such as Samsung (KSE: 005930) and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd (TSMC) (TWN: 2330) have inadvertently capitalized on this, as they have a stronger foothold on memory chips used in mobile devices, in particular; NAND and DRAM flash chips.
The recent launch of ultra-high-end smartphones such as Apple’s (NASDAQ: APPL) iPhone X and 8, and Samsung’s Note 8 at the beginning of the third quarter is likely to place upward pressure on demand for flash memory and OLED displays. This should contribute to semiconductor sales in the region as Apple will use TSMC exclusively as a supplier for iPhone processor chips in 2017. However, Samsung has succeeded in winning future orders for the next iPhone in 2018 due to its investment in 7-nanometer chip fabrication.