Wed, Mar 30, 2005 - Page 10 News List

Toshiba to focus on market share

NOTEBOOK SEGMENT The company will launch several new models this year and expand its low-end offering as part of a bid to boost market share

By Amber Chung  /  STAFF REPORTER

A model presents Toshiba's latest laptop, the Satellite M40, yesterday. The model features an Intel Centrino Sonoma CPU, a 15.4 inch display and high-end speakers of the same type found in automobiles.

PHOTO: GEORGE TSORNG, TAIPEI TIMES

Toshiba Corp of Japan said yesterday that the company hopes to increase its market share in Taiwan to 10 percent this year, banking on the greater availability of low-priced notebook computers to local consumers.

"We are targeting a market share [in Taiwan] of 10 percent ? up from 3.8 percent in the last quarter of last year," Masanobu Honda, manager of the China Operations group at Toshiba's personal computer division, said at a press conference in Taipei yesterday.

The company hopes to achieve the goal during its 2005 fiscal year, which begins in April and ends in March next year, Honda added.

In the fourth quarter of last year, Toshiba ranked as Taiwan's fifth largest laptop vendor, while Asustek Computer (華碩) took the top spot with a 29.4 percent market share. Acer Inc ranked second with 23.8 percent, followed by Hewlett-Packard with 14.1 percent and IBM at 12 percent, according to figures from International Data Corp (IDC).

Taiwan is a tough market with strong Taiwanese and global brands, Honda said, and the company expects to apply experience and strength gained in the global arena to the local market.

Worldwide, the Japanese vendor ranks as the third largest laptop vendor, with an 11.7 percent market share, behind HP's 15.6 percent and Dell's 15.3 percent, according to IDC.

Toshiba will expedite the time to market of its notebooks and roll out more low-end models priced under NT$39,900, which will make up 25 percent of its product lineup, said Alice Cheng (鄭美華), marketing manager of Grainnex Corp (新禾科技), Toshiba's general agent in Taiwan.

Increased outsourcing

Accordingly, Toshiba will increase outsourcing to Taiwanese contract manufacturers while retaining the in-house production of high-end models in its factories in Europe and China, Honda said. He declined to elaborate.

Toshiba currently outsources around half of its products to three Taiwanese laptop assemblers: Quanta Computer Inc (廣達電腦), Compal Electronics Inc (仁寶電腦) and Inventec Corp (英業達).

"The number [of suppliers] is not important," Honda said, adding that the company would not seek new suppliers but rather focus on allocating the optimal amount of orders to the current three companies.

Toshiba yesterday rolled out four models of laptops equipped with Intel Corp's Sonoma platform, the upgraded Centrino mobile technology. The models were priced from NT$44,800 to NT$99,800, and are aimed at the nation's commercial and retail laptop markets.

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