The Week In Review: Manufacturing

Huawei’s phone share; tablet woes; results from Samsung, Lam and KLA-Tencor.


According to Strategy Analytics, global mobile phone shipments grew a lackluster 2% annually to reach 435 million units in the second quarter of 2015. China’s Huawei was the star performer, as it captured a 7% share and overtook Microsoft to become the world’s third largest mobile phone vendor for the first time ever. Samsung remains in first place, while Apple is second.

Remember when the tablet market was hot? Remember when Apple’s iPad created a buzz? More recently, though, the tablet market has cooled down. The worldwide tablet market declined 7% year-over-year in the second quarter of 2015 with shipments totaling 44.7 million units, according to IDC. Marked by little hardware innovation and limited vendor portfolio updates, the market also declined 3.9% compared to the first quarter of 2015.

Samsung posted its results for the quarter. Samsung’s revenue for the quarter was up 3%, while the operating profit also increased. In the period, Samsung’s memory demand remained strong, while the company saw increased sales for its application processors based on its 14nm finFET technology.

Samsung announced the industry’s first 1.0μm-pixel-based 16 megapixel CMOS image sensor for use in advanced mobile devices.

Lam Research announced financial results for the quarter ended June 28, 2015. Shipments were $1.616 billion, up 8% from the prior quarter. Revenue was $1.481 million, up 6% from the prior quarter.

“Lam is benefitting from a number of drivers that are expanding its markets and helping it grow faster than the industry, despite likely softening of DRAM CapEx in 2H and weak Intel spending. With a solid guidance well above consensus, Lam should be positioned to grow revenue 20% this year. By comparison, we model total fab equipment demand up just 2%,” said Weston Twigg, an analyst with Pacific Crest Securities, in a report.

KLA-Tencor reported its results for its fourth quarter and fiscal year ended June 30, 2015. KLA-Tencor reported GAAP net income of $142 million and GAAP earnings per diluted share of $0.89 on revenues of $756 million for the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2015. For the fiscal year ended June 30, 2015, the company reported GAAP net income of $366 million and GAAP earnings per diluted share of $2.24 on revenues of $2.8 billion.

The Tech Museum of Innovation announced that John and Tashia Morgridge–who intend to give away most of their wealth to education, conservation and medical research causes–have been named the 12th recipients of the James C. Morgan Global Humanitarian Award. Sponsored by Applied Materials, this award honors individuals whose broad vision and leadership address the world’s most challenging problems.

In a blog, Applied Materials provided some details about the third annual Silicon Innovation Forum at Semicon West. Applied and others discussed the role of venture capital in the semiconductor industry. Generally, VC funding is a mixed bag.

SEMI welcomed news out of Geneva on a plan to expand the Information Technology Agreement (ITA) and begin negotiations to finalize the deal. Following a multiyear effort on behalf of global information and communication technology industries, a meaningful agreement now appears within reach.

Intel and Micron Technology unveiled 3D XPoint, a new non-volatile memory technology. Now in production, 3D XPoint appears to be a ReRAM.