Apple supplier Murata expects demand for 5G phones to reach 500 million units in the next fiscal year
Murata’s main product is the multilayer ceramic capacitors (MLCC) that regulates the flow of electricity on circuit boards found on products like smartphones and automobiles. Despite the executive’s comments about the necessity of Apple, Samsung and other firms to make up for Huawei’s gradual departure from the handset business, some analysts believe that Murata’s president was being too conservative with this statement. For example, Ace Research Institute’s Hideki Yasuda said that demand from consumers for 5G phones should keep Murata busy producing these parts for Apple and its rivals. On the other hand, while Nakajima does expect demand for its MLCC line to remain strong throughout the year, he does forecast a slight decline in demand after the Chinese Lunar New Year holiday in February. The executive sees a bounce of about 10% in MLCC sales starting with the the new 2021 fiscal year which begins midway through February.
Besides affecting supplies for 5G phones, there are severe supply shortages throughout the electronics industry which is causing delays in production of other tech products including game consoles like the Sony PlayStation 5 and Microsoft’s Xbox Series X.
The bottom line is that Murata’s president sees another month of production shortages for its MLCC ceramic capacitors before supplies start to increase. Based on his company’s performance, he expects demand for 5G handsets to surpass 500 million units in the coming fiscal year. Nakajima said, “The industry had 300 million units of 5G smartphones during the current fiscal year, and I expect that to increase to at least 500 million in the next fiscal year. We will continue making capital expenditure to keep up with the growing demand.”