Thu, Jan 13, 2005 - Page 10 News List

Mio Technology, LG International ink pact

PDA MARKET Mio said it's has already grabbed the No. 1 spot in South Korea since launching its products there last year and is planning to double its sales this year

By Amber Chung  /  STAFF REPORTER

Mio Technology Ltd (宇達電通), Mitac International Corp's (神達 電腦) subsidiary that distributes its Mio-branded personal digital assistants (PDAs), inked an agreement yesterday with South Korea's largest electronics distributor, LG International Ltd (LGI), hoping the partnership will help quadruple its shipment to that country.

"We hope sales of our Mio PDAs will grow this year to four times last year's 70,000 units," Mio Technology's president Samuel Wang said on the sidelines of yesterday's ceremony in Taipei.

The company said its PDA products equipped with a global positioning system (GPS) function took 49 percent of South Korea's PDA market after their rollout in the first quarter of last year, making it No. 1 in that market.

Mio is the fourth largest PDA brand worldwide, after Palm, Hewlett-Packard and Dell, the company said.

"The potential for this [car navigation system] market is enor-mous," LGI's vice president Cho Byung-sang said, adding that only 2 percent of the 15 million cars in South Korea have such systems so far.

Mitac shipped between 300,000 and 400,000 own-branded PDAs last year and hopes to see shipments double to nearly 800,000 units this year, driven by expected growth in South Korea and Taiwan, as well as markets in Japan and the US, Wang said.

However, supply shortages of some key components could limit growth.

"We saw tight supply of some key components, such as embed-ded driving integrated circuits [ICs] supplied by Intel Corp," Wang said, adding that the shortage had prolonged its supplier's delivery time to three months from the original one month.

The problem could have a big impact on the company if it is not resolved by the second quarter of this year, he said.

Mitac hopes to see three-digit growth in its handheld device shipments this year, up from 1 million units last year, of which its own-branded products would account for 40 percent, up from 35 percent last year, said Mitac's president Billy Ho (何繼武).

Handheld devices are expected to contribute 20 percent to Mitac's annual revenue this year, up from 15 percent last year, according to the company.

It said desktop-computer contract manufacturing for clients such as Dell Inc would account for more than 50 percent, while server and wireless products would make up the remainder.

Mitac's revenue soared 28 percent last year to NT$50.5 billion (US$1.58 billion) from NT$39.6 billion in 2003.

It expects to continue the growth momentum this year with its revenue jumping to NT$62.5 billion, according to figures provided by Taiwan International Securities (金鼎證券).

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