Wed, Jan 11, 2006 - Page 10 News List

HP Taiwan aims to gain share in notebook sector

MORE VOLUME The firm hopes that new technology and a focus on medium and high-end products will help boost sales of laptops by 10 percent for this year

By Jason Tan  /  STAFF REPORTER

Armed with new middle and high-end products for this year, Hewlett-Packard (HP) Taiwan hopes to grab a bigger share of the notebook computer market in Taiwan, with volume growth of over 10 percent, company executives said yesterday.

"As there are a slew of new computer technologies available this year, vendors who win more market share will be those pushing new computer products in an aggressive manner," Dennis Chen (陳敬宏), vice president and general manager of HP Taiwan's personal system group, said on the sidelines of the company's New Year media gathering yesterday.

Last year, the computer industry did not see major technological improvements, prompting vendors to slash prices in a bid to boost notebook shipments, he said.

Though the price war resulted in higher volumes, it led to lower average selling prices and reduced profits for most companies, he added.

Statistics from research firm International Data Corp (IDC) indicate that in the third quarter of last year, Asustek Computer Inc (華碩電腦) and Acer Inc were the leaders in the local notebook market, with Lenovo Group Ltd (聯想) taking the third spot.

HP Taiwan and BenQ Corp (明基) were the No. 4 and No. 5 vendors.

Banking on new technology platforms such as 64-bit architecture, Intel's dual-core Centrino Duo and Viiv entertainment PC, HP Taiwan will focus on delivering a range of middle to higher-end computer products this year.

With prices starting from NT$40,000 (US$1,250), the product offerings will include portable computers targeting the commercial market with security features to ensure data safety.

"Businesses are worried about data security in cases where their notebooks are lost, and we will introduce more products with enhanced security to address their concerns," he added.

As a whole, Chen said that revenues for HP Taiwan's personal system group -- which includes notebooks, desktops, personal digital assistants and workstations ? are expected to grow by 20 percent this year.

He did not give out specific numbers.

Meanwhile, the company's imaging and printing group -- which includes products such as printers, scanners and projectors -- is also expected to see revenues grow by more than 10 percent this year.

"We see the driving forces coming from rising demand for supplies [such as ink and toner cartridges] as well as increasing printer volumes," said Edwin Huang (黃建章), the firm's vice president and general manager of the imaging and printing group.

IDC data indicates that in the local color laser printer market, Epson Inc and HP Taiwan were the leaders in the third quarter of last year, with respective market shares of 49 percent and 25 percent.

According to the firm's managing director Rosemary Ho (何薇玲), HP Taiwan is looking to make gains this year from market opportunities created by the integration of voice, data and digital technologies.

These opportunities will include digital home products for the consumer market, demand for information digitalization from small and medium-sized businesses and emerging demand from big enterprises related to the new integration trend, she said.

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