Sat, Oct 15, 2005 - Page 10 News List

Local firms to get strong boost from latest iPod product

By Jason Tan  /  STAFF REPORTER

Local companies assembling or supplying components for the hot iPod product family will continue to benefit from the anticipated strong market demand for the digital music players, analysts said yesterday.

"Taiwanese vendors which assemble or provide components for Apple Computer iPod series will see their shipments rise in the fourth quarter, bolstered by strong market demand and the new release of the video iPod," said Maddux Lin (林承義), vice president at Grand Cathay Securities Co (大華證券).

These companies include component suppliers Cheng Uei Precision Industry Co (正崴), Ji-Haw Industrial Co (今皓實業), Mustang Industrial Corp (同協電子), and Inventec Appliances Corp (英華達), which assembles the iPod Mini.

Inventec Appliances, a Taiwanese handset maker known for its OKWAP brand, has reportedly also acquired the latest order from Apple to assemble the video iPod, beating rivals such as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密) and Asustek Computer Inc (華碩電腦), according to a Chinese-language newspaper report yesterday.

Inventec Appliances refused to comment when contacted by the Taipei Times yesterday, citing confidentiality agreements.

The company is also in a quiet period ahead of its debut on the Taiwan Stock Exchange later this month. It filed paperwork in May to begin trading its shares on the main bourse.

"The new assembly order for the video iPod will definitely benefit Inventec Appliances, as it is set to issue an initial public offering on the 25th of this month," said Allan Pu (卜正倫), an analyst with SinoPac Securities Corp (建華證券).

The new iPod portable video player, which is expected to hit local stores by the year's end at the earliest, is able to screen music videos and television shows for consumers on the move.

Boasting a 6.35cm color screen, it is 30 percent thinner than its predecessors and comes with 50 percent more storage.

The video iPod can store up to 15,000 songs, 25,000 photos or more than 150 hours of video and is available in a 30 gigabyte model with a 14-hour battery for US$299 and 60 gigabytes with a 20-hour battery for US$399.

Both analysts said the new video iPod is set to become a favorite in Taiwan, similar to the earlier iPod Nano.

Both analysts said with an intensive marketing campaign, a strong brandname

and sleek design, the new video iPod is set to become a favorite in Taiwan,

similar to the earlier iPod Nano, a pencil-thin music player launched last

month with a maximum 4 gigabytes of storage.

“The latest iPod brings video into digital music players, which is a new

innovation to lure consumers,” Lin said, adding that the sales in the

Christmas period will be the key to determining the success of the new

gadget.

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