Tech Transformers

Smartphone just part of ‘aggressive’ three-pronged revenue drive, says Apple semiconductor supplier

Smart driving and internet of things part of business strategy: STMicroelectronics CEO

The chief executive of one of Apple's biggest semiconductor suppliers has insisted that smartphone technology comprises just one aspect of the business's three-pronged efforts to boost revenues by $1 billion this year, in a bid to abate concerns that Apple could be about to begin a mass withdrawal from its partner network.

"The smartphone is an important part of our business, but from a market point of view we have a huge, huge focus on smart driving and the internet of things," STMicroelectronics' Carlo Bozotti told CNBC Friday as he outlined his "aggressive plan" to increase revenues by 14 percent to $8 billion in 2017.

Bozotti underlined the company's diversified technology offering, which extends to smart driving – both quasi-autonomous and fully-autonomous – as well as developments in the internet of things, in a bid to reassure investors whose faith in suppliers of semiconductor technology has been shaken by indications that Apple is to move its hardware capabilities in-house.

When the Cupertino company announced in April that it would be "reducing its future reliance" on fellow semiconductor supplier Imagination Technologies, the supplier's shares plummeted more than 70 percent.

Imagination Technologies shares are tanking after Apple ended its chip deal

STMicroelectronics' continued relationship with Apple came under question in March when the Franco-Italian company suffered a fire at its facility in France, which could have undermined its ability to meet supply demands. The company has reportedly signed a deal with Apple to supply the 3D camera sensor for its much-anticipated iPhone 8, due out later this year.

Bozotti said that he would not comment on specific customers, though he insisted that the business was also pursuing "certain important new projects" in the second part of the year, which would also facilitate its revenue drive.

Apple supplier fallout

STMicroelectronics was once the sole supplier of accelerometers, gyroscopes and motion sensors for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices before Apple switched to dual-sourcing.

Bozotti said that the business was adapting to changing demand and said that the company's focus would remain on driving market-leading innovation.

"In any of these very competitive markets you need to be the best at the things that you do. What is crucial is making sure that innovation is there and when you have something to offer you have the best," he noted.

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