Mon, May 30, 2005 - Page 10 News List

25th annual Computex begins

GEEKFEST The world's second-most important computer trade show starts tomorrow, with fewer exhibitors than last year but more booths and more floor space for gadgets

STAFF WRITER , WITH DPA

Computex Taipei 2005, the world's second-largest computer show after CeBIT in Germany, will open in Taipei tomorrow, drawing exhibitors, visitors and speakers from Taiwan and abroad.

The annual exhibition, now in its 25th year, will run from tomorrow through Saturday at the Taipei World Trade Center Exhibition Hall and the adjacent Taipei International Convention Center.

The show features 1,288 exhibitors and 2,853 booths, compared to 1,347 exhibitors and 2,828 booths last year, the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA, 外貿協會) and the Taipei Computer Association (台北市電腦公會), the show's organizers, said in a statement.

The organizers denied Computex Taipei 2005 is smaller than that last year, saying it has cut down the number of exhibitors so that larger exhibitors can have more floor space.

Computex used to be the world's third-largest computer fair after CeBIT in Hanover and Comdex in the US. But as Comdex in Las Vegas has shrunk in recent years, Computex has jumped to number two.

The organizers expect to attract 25,000 foreign buyers and 120,000 local visitors, a similar level to last year. Besides major buyers from the US and Japan, visitors from China, which may exceed 1,000, may place big orders in Taiwan.

Chinese firms that have registered for the show include Lenovo Group Ltd (聯想), China's biggest personal computer maker, smaller rival Beijing Founder Electronics Co (北大方正), handset maker TCL Corp, electronics maker Beijing Huaqi Information Digital Technology Co (華旗資訊) and China's Datang Telecom Technology Co (大唐電信).

"Taiwan manufacturers say foreign buyers saw Taiwan's latest products at CeBIT in March but wait to place orders at Computex in June," TAITRA spokesperson Yen Hsiu-chuan (顏秀娟) told reporters on Saturday.

Taiwan is the world's leader in computer hardware, especially desktop computers, notebook computers, monitors, motherboards, keyboards and mouses. Most of Taiwan's computer hardware is made on an Original Equipment Manufacturing (OEM) basis, meaning products are made to be marketed abroad under large international brands such as Apple, Dell or IBM.

Last year, Taiwan produced US$67 billion in computer hardware, up 23 percent from 2003, according to statistics provided by the semi-official Market Intelligence Center (市場情報中心). The center expects the nation's computer hardware output to hit US$70 billion by the end of this year.

Besides securing OEM orders, local companies also plan to impress buyers with their brand name products this year.

Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密), for example, plans to showcase its handsets under the brand name "Foxconn," made by its affiliate Foxconn International Holdings Ltd (富士康), while MiTAC International Corp (神達電腦) will also hawk its "Mio" brand products after striking the right note in the global positioning system (GPS) device market with the brand.

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