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BYD shifting focus from solar to smartphone OEM: report

(Global Times)

10:37, July 16, 2013

Shenzhen-based electric car maker BYD is shifting its focus to the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) smartphone market, as profits in its core business - the auto and solar sectors - remain very thin, Beijing Business Today reported Monday.

Many international handset makers such as Nokia, Samsung, Huawei and ­Hew­­lett-Packard have chosen BYD as their manufacturer, according to the report.

BYD has recently rolled out the new HTC One for HTC, the Ascend P6 for Huawei, the Lumia 1020 for Nokia and the Galaxy S4 mini for Samsung, media reports said.

Most of these orders previously belonged to Foxconn, the world's largest contract manufacturer of electronics by revenue, according to the report. And a list from Apple Inc released last year revealed that BYD is also a supplier for the popular handset maker.

Foxconn has recently been losing Apple contracts to its competitors. Media reports said that the company has lost some orders to its Taiwan peer Pegatron Corp.

BYD said in a profit forecast in May that it expected to see up to 2,973 percent profit growth in the first half of this year, attributing the surge mainly to rising profits from its cell phone parts, increasing auto sales and the rising prices of solar products.

Given the expected profit surge, experts said that the company has very likely secured a big order in the smartphone business sometime in the past few months.

In the first quarter, the company reported net profit of 112 million yuan ($18.24 million), up 315.63 percent year-on-year.

The Beijing Business Today report said that BYD has been withdrawing from its solar business given the uncertain prospects of the sector. And its auto sector, though expanding, is also not reporting very strong profit growth, so the phone assembly business has become an increasing focus for the company.

Major electronics producers like Sony and Sharp are consi­dering outsourcing their manu­facturing at present, which could mean great opportunities for companies like BYD, according to the report, which cited an industry analyst.

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