ConnectorSupplier capability in China
The connectors industry in China is continuing its steady upward climb spurred by strong demand from the consumer electronics, telecom, computer, power and industrial sectors.Already the third-largest connector supplier worldwide, the country’s output and exports are expected to increase further in coming years as the application and product ranges expand to match rising orders.China has traditionally been strong in A/V connectors, leveraging its robust A/V consumer electronics segment. Recently, however, more manufacturers have been expanding into the computer and telecom sectors to widen market reach.The power connectors line has been growing 5 to 10 percent in recent years. The USB connectors segment has also been expanding 20 percent annually, fueled by increased usage of the interface in PCs and peripherals,and other digital devices. The rising supply of high-definition home entertainment products is generating more orders for HDMI connectors.For memory card connectors, the momentum is driven by the popularity of digital cameras, mobile phones, PDAs, MP3/MP4 players, laptops and digital photo frames. Portable electronics are spurring the upsurge in the FPC/FFC segment. The following are some of the key trends in China’s connectors industry:
- Prices will likely remain in a downward trend as makers boost their price advantage over foreign competitors.
- In preparation for rising demand,most suppliers are planning to increase capital expenditure in coming months.
- To boost margins, companies are implementing cost-reduction programs and increasing operating efficiency.Many are forming partnerships with foreign enterprises and government agencies to bolster R&D capability.
- Product development is geared toward enhancing durability, cosmetic design and anti-EMI features. Emphasis is on smaller form factors, reduced pitch size and faster transmission rates.
- Multifunction models will rise in supply. New RJ-45 connectors integrate transformers and LED indicators, while power connectors incorporate line switches, fuse holders and circuit breakers.
- North America will remain China’s major export destination for connectors but many manufacturers will increase shipments to the Middle East, the EU and the Asia-Pacific region.
- Price competition is one of the major challenges that companies in this industry face. Fluctuating material costs exacerbate the situation for many suppliers. The continued dominance of foreign players in certain segments is another major concern.
China’s selection of connectors may be broadly classified into A/V, computer, industrial, power, and telecom and networking types, each comprising a slew of variants. These are also the scope of this report. Each category has its own section that provides details on the common features and price determinants of major product lines. The latest trends in terms of design and materials arealso discussed. The Industry Overview section discusses developments in the different sectors, including makers’ strategies to survive current market challenges. It also mentions key trends and R&D priorities in coming months. China has more than 1,000 makers of connectors. Over 70 percent of them are locally owned and the rest are foreign-invested. The former generally concentrates on low-end and midrange products, and the rest focuses on upscale units.