Eight of the top-ten smartphone producers are AT&S clients; only Samsung has never been one and Nokia isn`t at present. AT&S no longer supplies the Finnish producer because they have recently focused on `feature-phones` instead smartphones. `However, new opportunities when arise a client`s requirements change`, says Erich Nuncic, Chief Sales Officer at AT&S. Currently it looks as if AT&S will soon be supplying all the top-ten producers, including Nokia and Samsung.
`The industry see us as the leader in innovation and technology`
`The cell-phone industry see us as the leader in innovation and technology, we deliver quality and we are a reliable partner`, says AT&S CEO Andreas Gerstenmayer. `If we are seen as technological leader in an industry, then it must be our goal to deal with those who are leading the industry`.
AT&S have always kept in contact with Nokia (Nuncic was responsible for their cooperation a decade ago: editor`s note), and also with another, currently very successful, company. What company this is, neither Gerstenmayer nor Nuncic are allowed to say, but as Samsung is world market leader in smartphones and not yet a client of AT&S, it probably is the Korean producer.
It`s a well kept secret which models are equipped with AT&S circuit boards, and mustn`t be reported for confidentiality reasons. (That there is AT&T board in the iPhone was announced by Apple but not by the Austrian group.) This is also one reason why AT&S has become one of most in-demand circuit-board producers in the world.
If reports are true, however, their industry contacts mean they are one step closer to their target of becoming one of the top-ten producers of the world. Currently AT&S is Europe`s number one producer, worldwide they rank around 20th. `We want to enter the league of the billion-dollar corporations`, AT&S Director General Andreas Gerstenmayer told futurezone during an interview at the beginning of the year.
160 Million Circuit Boards
The production of the circuit boards for all mobile devices takes place in Shanghai, where 710,000 square metres of circuit boards are produced yearly, equal to about 160 million units. Given that about 500 million smartphones are sold per year, that gives AT&S a market share of 20 to 25 per cent.
Nuncic says, `It is extremely important to be in Shanghai, one of the great Asian centres of industry, because practically every producer is represented there.` Nuncic is convinced that even if companies have their headquarters somewhere else, decisions would be made on the ground in Shanghai.
Worldwide there are only six to ten producers who are able to produce circuit boards for smartphones, tablets and mobile devices. It is only these which have the adequate technology, quality and capacity to supply the market.