Wed, Sep 07, 2005 - Page 10 News List

Students drive up nation's notebook sales this quarter


Notebook computer vendors saw a rise in domestic sales during the last two months because of strong demand from students before they return to school this month, company officials said yesterday.

"Our notebook business in the education sector accounted for 40 percent of total sales in July and August, which was beyond our expectations," David Kao (高偉淙), Hewlett-Packard (HP) Taiwan Ltd's marketing development manager, said in a telephone interview.

The company's local market share increased 5 percent for the same period year-on-year, he said, citing statistics provided by International Data Corp (IDC).

HP pushed lower-priced notebook models with good online-gaming performance, he said.

He said that models priced below NT$40,000 were received extremely well and HP is to introduce five to 10 new models within the next two months to increase its market share.

Meanwhile, Toshiba also reported strong sales growth during the summer months.

"Our notebook sales grew 66 percent in July to August from the same period last year, which was a new record, pushed partly by lower-priced models," said Alice Cheng (鄭美華), marketing manager of Grainnex (新禾科技), the sole distributor of Toshiba notebooks and personal computers in Taiwan.

As undergraduates are returning to campus in mid-September, the company is gearing up to promote Toshiba notebooks among these potential buyers, Cheng said.

She expects sales in the fourth quarter to surpass those in the third, as the annual IT Month electronics exposition in December will definitely boost sales.

Apple Computer, meanwhile, said that it will continue to work toward getting a firmer foothold in the local education sector, according to an official who requested anonymity.

The company will concentrate on this sector in this quarter because of the back-to-school effect, the official said.

IDC Taiwan forecasts the nation's personal computer and notebook shipments

to grow in the traditionally busy second half of the year.

Notebook shipments totaled 140,943 units in the second quarter, up 12.8

percent quarter-on-quarter and 6.4 percent year-on-year, stimulated by the

rollout of more low-priced, entry-level models and keen price competition,

the research house said in a report released last week.

The top three laptop vendors, Asustek Computer Inc (華碩), Acer Inc and HP,

took a combined 71.5 percent domestic-market share, while Toshiba Corp of

Japan replaced Lenovo Group Ltd (聯想) — formerly known as IBM Taiwan

Corp's PC unit — in fourth place, according to IDC.

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