Fri, Jul 23, 2004 - Page 10 News List

Computer firms place hopes on next week's show

PROMOTIONS GALORE Laptop, desktop and LCD monitor makers expect new models and price cuts will attract consumers to the exhibition and get them to open their wallets

By Amber Chung  /  STAFF REPORTER

The 14th Taipei Computer Appli-cations Show will kick off next Thursday and organizers and participants are hoping it will spur a slow market through low-price promotions, they said yesterday.

"The economy has basically been reviving since the SARS epidemic last year, despite a few setbacks brought about by the nation's politics and unstable bourse during the course of recovery," Eric Lee (李永進) president of online gameing developer Softstar Entertainment Inc (大宇資訊) and the show's convenor, said at a press conference yesterday.

The exhibition, co-organized by the Taipei Computer Association (台北市電腦公會) and the Taiwan External Trade Development Coun-cil (外貿協會), will feature 1,700 booths and nearly 400 participaning companies.

The show will fill exhibition halls I and III of the Taipei World Trade Center Exhibition, which would make it the largest of the 14 exhibitions, according to the event's organizers.

Lee said organizers expect to see 30 percent more visitors this year than the 270,000 people who attended last year's show.

The exhibition is expected to trigger demand in a market that has been depressed by Tropical Storm Mindulle and the Joint College Entrance Examination earlier this month, Lee said.

Acer Inc's marketing and planning vice president Calvin Chang (張敬仁), agreed, adding that Intel Corp's rollout of a new platform for laptops and desktops earlier this year by could help arouse consumers' replacement demand in the second half of the year.

"We expect the new Dothan-platform laptops will become mainstream products for the next half of the year," Chang said.

In light of the trend, Acer is scheduled to launch more new models of laptops equipped with the new Dothan platform on Monday. Its new models will be priced at around NT$50,000. The company is hoping to sell 5,000 units to 6,000 units of laptops and desktops during the show, Chang said.

Compared to Acer's new model, no-price-cut stance, other personal-computer vendors appear keen to attract customers through promotional price reductions.

Elite Group Computer System Co (精英電腦) plans to roll out new Dothan-equipped notebooks with prices reduced by about NT$5,000 to NT$36,000 and NT$45,000, said its sales manager, Calvin Huang (黃嘉文).

Laptops and liquid-crystal display (LCD) monitors are expected to lead the price wars in this year's exhibition, said Tsai Chin-chiang (蔡進江), a vice president with Xan-der International (建達國際), a computer and peripheral distribution arm of Via Technologies Inc (威盛電子), the nation's biggest maker of chipsets for personal computers, in a statement.

Laptops under NT$29,900 may grab 50 percent of the market, Tsai said.

A price war in LCD monitors was launched last month by Chi Mei Corp (奇美實業) -- whose brands include CMV and Polyview -- and BenQ Corp (明基電通), when they slashed prices by 15 percent to 20 percent.

The 14th Taipei Computer Applications Show runs from July 29 to Aug. 2.

Hours of admission are 9:40am to 5pm and the admission is NT$200 per person. However, next Thursday visitors can enter free of charge between 10am and 12pm.

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