Fri, Jan 13, 2006 - Page 10 News List

LG notebooks will hit Taiwan around March

THEY'RE COMING The South Korean giant will make its local notebook debut after a slight delay over the incorporation of Intel's new chip platform

By Jason Tan  /  STAFF REPORTER

With its first batch of notebook computers scheduled to hit Taiwanese stores around March, LG Electronics Inc is gearing up to compete head-to-head with local rivals in the highly competitive PC market.

Louis Lan (藍張達), IT team manager of LG Electronics Taiwan, said the South Korean electronics giant will introduce its first slew of portable computers in the local market in late February or early March.

"Taiwan is the IT base of Asia and we don't want to miss out. We will utilize our advantages in areas such as manufacturing, brand image and marketing resources to attract consumers to our new laptops," he said in a phone interview yesterday.

The introduction of LG notebooks follows on from the company's success with its flat-screen televisions in the local home appliances market since it began selling them in Taiwan in 2002, he added.

According to Lan, the notebook launch was initially scheduled for this month, but LG decided to delay it as it intends to introduce models equipped with the brand new Intel Centrino Duo mobile technology.

Unveiled this week, the dual-core Centrino Duo platform is said to deliver a 68 percent performance gain, give 28 percent longer battery life and offer a 30 percent reduction in component size over the single-core Sonoma platform.

"March will be a better time for us to promote LG laptops as most vendors will introduce their Centrino Duo notebooks at that time. Our strategy this year is to bring in more products as soon as they are available in South Korea," he added.

It is expected that there will be at least five notebook models available locally, including one using the Centrino Duo platform, and another four Sonoma machines as had been originally planned, he said.

These models will come with screen sizes ranging between 12 inches and 17 inches, and are priced beginning at NT$40,000 (US$1,254).

The introduction of notebooks will complement the company's IT product range in Taiwan, which already includes MP3 players, DVD recorders and liquid-crystal-display monitors, he said.

To expand its range of IT products, peripherals such as mice and keyboards will also be made available at the same time as the notebook, he added.

South Korean rival Samsung Electronics Co has no plans to follow suit, at least for this year.

"We don't have concrete plans to introduce our laptops to Taiwanese consumers though we have considered the possibility. It is difficult for us to break into a market already dominated by Acer and Asustek (華碩電腦)," said Hong Seok-min, director of Samsung Electronics' Taiwan branch.

The competitiveness of the market has led to steep price cuts, with notebooks priced below NT$20,000, which made Samsung hesitate about launching its notebooks here, he said, adding that Samsung laptops sell for around NT$50,000.

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