Tue, May 30, 2006 - Page 12 News List

HP Taiwan predicts growth in the commercial segment

By Jason Tan  /  STAFF REPORTER

Hewlett-Packard Taiwan Ltd (HP Taiwan), the nation's fourth-largest notebook vendor, is eyeing the commercial segment for new momentum in growth this year, a company executive said yesterday.

"The commercial segment will post higher growth than the consumer sector this year, as enterprises are allocating constant budgets to improve the company's technology infrastructure," Dennis Chen (陳敬宏), vice president and general manager of HP Taiwan's personal system group, told a product launch.

Citing statistics from research firm International Data Corp, he said that information technology spending in Taiwan would grow 5.5 percent this year, driven particularly by server-based computing.

To date, commercial PCs account for 55 percent of revenue in HP Taiwan's PC business, and Chen expects the figure to grow in the second half of this year.

HP yesterday launched a "thin client," the HP Compaq t5720, a compact network computer connected to a powerful server where data is stored and accessed.

The small computers do not have any storage drives, such as a CD-ROM, DVD-ROM, floppy disk or hard disk. This makes thin clients cheaper than desktop computers.

The thin client targets medium and large-sized enterprises in sectors such as banking, aviation, manufacturing, hospitality and government, according to Ellie Chiu (邱筱婷), the company's market development manager.

She said that the company predicts 20 percent growth in thin-client shipments this year over last year as more enterprises realize the benefits of the machines, including better information protection and the lower cost.

Overall, the consumer PC market in the first five months had been lackluster, dragged down by rising consumer bad debt in credit cards and cash cards, Chen said.

"Microsoft's push on Windows Media Center Edition has also failed to accelerate local adoption [in the] digital home," he said.

Affected by weak purchasing power, consumer electronics retailers reported a dip in business of 30 percent in the first three months of the year, according to a report by Chinese-language newspaper World Journal earlier this month.

Fortress -- Hong Kong's largest electronics and appliances operator which has been operating in Taiwan for eight years -- announced the closure of six outlets last month and will cut the current 11 stores to two later this year because of its financial burden.

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