Global And China Consumer Electronic Case And Structural Parts Industry Report, 2013
Amid high degree of homogeneity of products, mobile phone vendors have started to be concerned about the differentiation of mobile phone casings. In 2012, the market value of mobile phone casings and structural parts reached USD5.28 billion and the market share ratio between plastic and metal ones was 3:1, which is expected to fall to 2.5:1 in 2013 as vendors invest more in metal casings.
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Currently, three mobile phone casing technologies have drawn attention - NCVM (Non Conductive Vacuum Metallization), Insert Molding and Unibody.
NCVM has three major advantages: first, it can reduce electromagnetic interference for mobile communications, improve signal strength and call clarity. Second, NCVM allows plastic surface to represent metallic texture which improves added value of products. Third, NCVM's semi-transparent feature facilitates the casing design. However, NCVM requires high-cost cleaning rooms and continuous magnetron sputtering devices, plus the related manufacturing process needs a long time to explore. Ways Technical and Foxconn employ NCVM now.
Stemming from Samsung's Galaxy SII, Insert Molding combines advantages of both plastic casings and metal structural parts. Plastic casings are featured with low cost, and metal structural parts make mobile phones solid enough to resist bumping. For the large size of smart phone (some models even have a size of up to 5 inches), the strength of plastic casings and structural parts is obviously insufficient, but metal ones are costly, so Insert Molding functions as a compromise.
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Unibody integrated molding technology originates from Apple's iPad. Currently, only HTC phones use the most expensive design. Now, only Taiwan's Catcher and FOXCONN TECH are able to provide abundant mobile phone casings made by such technology.
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