Quanta Computer Inc (
"We are seeing robust demand ahead in the fourth quarter, making it [the final quarter] a stronger season than the third quarter," said Michael Wang (
But, current constraints in the supply of components such as flat panels and chips could adversely affect Quanta's laptop computer shipments, Wang said.
Wang said hot sales of the digital music player iPod series was a major reason behind the insufficient supply of chips.
Smaller rival Compal Electronics Inc (
Despite the component worries, Wang was optimistic about the notebook computer industry. He expects sales of laptops to grow by 20 percent next year, from an estimated 60 million units this year, on growing replacement demand for desktop computers.
Despite rising demand, notebook makers face cutthroat competition, which leaves limited room for price cuts, Wang and Chen said.
"Quanta's gross margin for next year won't be lower [than that of this year]," Wang said.
The company's consolidated gross margin was 4.34 percent in the first half of this year.
Compal's Chen also said gross margins for notebook makers are stabilizing.
Compal is struggling to keep its gross margin above 5 percent amid falling prices.
* Quanta says demand for the Christmas season should be robust.
* Tight supply of components such as flat panels and chips could constrain shipments, however.
* Strong sales of the iPod music player are a major reason behind a chip shortage, a Quanta official said.
* Compal said a shortage of chipsets is already curbing its notebook shipments.