Taiwan export orders hit record high on iPhone 6 demand

TAIPEI - Booming shipments of smartphones including Apple's iPhone 6 pushed Taiwan's export orders to a new record high in October, the ninth straight month of gains, the government and media said Thursday.

Orders, a key indicator for the island's export-reliant economy, jumped 13.4 per cent year-on-year to $44.91 billion, according to the economic affairs ministry.

Orders for information and mobile devices surged 21 per cent from a year ago to a record $12.9 billion, thanks to brisk sales of new mobile devices, the ministry said.

The ministry did not identify the brands but the state-funded Central News Agency said strong demand for the iPhone 6 continued to boost export orders.

Apple said last month it sold 39.3 million iPhones in the three months ending September 27, up 16 per cent from the same period a year earlier.

Taiwan's Hon Hai, also known as Foxconn, is the world's largest computer components manufacturer and assembles products for leading international brands including Apple's iPhones.

Media reports say local firms Pegatron Corp worked on the assembly of the new iPhone and TSMC - the world's biggest contract microchip maker - manufactured its chips. Neither company has confirmed the contracts.

Export orders from the United States hit a record $12.43 billion in October, up 17.4 per cent from a year ago while those from Europe jumped 29.9 per cent also to a record high of $9.52 billion.

Orders from mainland China and Hong Kong, Taiwan's other major overseas markets, were up 3.0 per cent on-year to $9.98 billion but fell 4.0 per cent from the previous month.