The Industrial Specialization and Economic Contribution of the Smartphone Supply Chain: The Case of Apple and HTC

Wen-Nan Tsan, Chi Chang, Bo-Chi Lin, Wen-Yao Han, Nan-Shiun Chu


This study examines the linkage between industrial specialization and economic contribution in the smartphone component industry. The value created from the manufacturing process may shift the leading positions of countries involved in the supply chain. In turn, the regional hierarchy will further influence the slicing up of the smartphone component value chain based on each country’s comparative advantages. The economic contribution from the Apple and HTC supply chains are analyzed in terms of value added, jobs created and employee composition in Taiwan and other countries. Analysis found that for every smartphone produced, Apple's component supply chain created 37.3 USD of value in Taiwan, as opposed to 58.7 USD for HTC. This study recommends that industrial efforts should further focus on the production of application processors, LCD panels and passive components.


Industrial specialization; Added value; Smartphone component; Supply chain; Taiwan

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