Taiwan’s smartphone parts boomlet rolled through December

Industrial production numbers out of Taiwan were a little bit softer than expected. But the electronics boom on the island nation is continuing to roll forward, driven by the global surge in smartphone sales. Take a look at the blue areas in the Barclays chart below, which show how much electronic parts have contributed to each month’s increase or decrease in industrial production.

Screen Shot 2013-01-23 at 11.36.06 AM

These numbers are of interest to close watchers of the Apple supply chain. Shares of suppliers to Apple, such as Hon Hai Precision Industries—parent of iPhone maker Foxconn—have slumped recently on a report that Apple cut its orders for iPhone parts (paywall).

However, the report—which has also been called into question—says that Apple informed suppliers in December that it would cut orders for the first quarter of 2013. If that did happen, then, it won’t show up in these numbers. Apple announces its earnings later today, and people will be poring over those in search of further clues.

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