Fri, Jun 04, 2004 - Page 10 News List

Feelings mixed about Computex

By Amber Chung  /  STAFF REPORTER

Motherboard makers appear unified about a rosy outlook for the second half of this year, but had mixed views on attracting orders through the Computex trade show.

"It is hard to tell right now if the show would boost business for the next half of this year, as buyers often need two to three weeks to consider before placing orders," Vincent Lai (賴玉琳), marketing manager at Micro-Star International Co (微星), the nation's fourth largest motherboard maker, told the Taipei Times yesterday.

Micro-Star does not depend on the show to boost its business as it has close relations with its clients and provides a virtual exhibition of a variety of products online for interested buyers, Lai said.

Micro-Star projects that it will ship 16 million motherboards this year. However, it said its brand image in the clone markets may be damaged after a US company, Electronic Connection Services, filed a lawsuit against it earlier this week over flawed motherboard capacitors and seeking US$75,000 in compensation.

According to the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (外貿協會), co-organizer of Computex, there were 21,738 buyers visiting the show in the first three days, compared with 17,358 over the same period last year.

"An increase in visitor numbers does not necessarily translate into more orders at the show," said Sunny Han (韓德行), global brand marketing manager with Asustek Computer Co (華碩電腦), the world's No.1 motherboard maker.

Seeing the show more as an annual gathering for its clients, Asustek invited 400 foreign clients to visit the event this year, Han said.

Another company said the show was helping its business and it had received many inquiries from enthusiastic visitors.

"We have also obtained some orders," said Mike Chou (周昭武), senior vice president of Elite Group Computer System Co (精英電腦).

The company, which will ship nearly half of its annual target in the first half of this year, is upbeat about the market for the next half and is expected to hit its shipment target of 18 million to 19 million units this year, Chou said.

Analysts are also painting a rosy picture for motherboard makers in the second half of the year.

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