iPhone Switch to USB-C in 2023 Could Create Opportunities for Taiwan Tech

(Photo:AFP)
(Photo:AFP)

According to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of TF International Securities, Apple Inc. (AAPL-US) will abandon the lightning connector on its iPhone next year and switch to USB-C to increase transmission and charging speeds. 

The move could drive a surge in orders from existing suppliers and make it the focus of the market in the next 1-2 years. In the meantime, the market is optimistic that Weltrend Semiconductor Inc. (2436-TW), Skyworth Group Co. (6104-TW), VIA Labs Inc. (6756-TW) and more will take advantage of this wave of business opportunities. 

Apple’s switch to USB-C could aim at increasing transmission speed, something Skyworth and VIA Labs have been working on for years with their high-speed interface ICs. 

As suppliers of Apple’s peripheral ecosystem, they could benefit from Apple’s further introduction of USB-C, which will increase the transmission speed and signal degradation, resulting in significant growth in demand for cellphone signal repeaters (ReDriver). 

Most Android phones have already introduced the USB-C interface; they have also introduced fast charging, with Xiaomi being the most aggressive. Its flagship phone even comes with 120W of high-power fast charging as standard. 

This is significantly higher than the iPhone’s current charging limit of 27W, and Apple is bound to introduce PD specifications to compete with Android.  

Weltrend has been the leader in PD control chips for laptops in recent years. The company has also adapted the technology for cell phones, with customers including Xiaomi, Google, and other cell phone brands. As the overall market moves toward a unified global standard for USB PD, the demand for PD control chips will only increase. 

Weltrend is also actively improving its charger solutions. In recent years, Weltrend has launched integrated solutions, including AC/DC, secondary SR rectifier and USB PD control chips, which will help increase market share in the current 8-inch capacity constraint. 

The industry is optimistic that reducing waste has been the top priority of the current policy implementation by governments as countries are now actively striving for net-zero carbon emissions. Following the EU’s inclusion of USB-C in the unified specification, China has also begun discussions to boost the overall market scale.