Wed, Aug 02, 2006 - Page 12 News List

Computer show touted despite vendor flight

By Jason Tan  /  STAFF REPORTER

A model yesterday presents a ViewSonic 20-inch LCD TV at a promotional event for the 16th Taipei Computer Applications Show, which opens tomorrow and runs through Monday at Hall I of the Taipei World Trade Center.

PHOTO: CNA

The upcoming 16th Taipei Computer Applications Show will whet consumers' appetites for 3C (computers, consumer electronics and communications) products during the second half of this year, despite the fewer number of exhibitors this year, organizers said yesterday.

"Buying sentiment in the first half was weak and people were conservative in their spending," said Cynthia Chen (陳守玉), the Taipei Computer Association's (TCA, 台北市電腦公會) computer and communications service division manager, on the sidelines of a press conference to promote the show yesterday.

TCA and the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (外貿協會) are the organizers of the exposition, which is open to the public at Hall I of Taipei World Trade Center from tomorrow through Monday.

Vendors have also become cautious, with the number of participating companies plunging this year.

There will be only 200 vendors occupying around 1,400 booths, down from last year's 250 vendors with 1,600 booths, according to TCA statistics.

Last year's show was held in conjunction with the first Summer Game Festival at Hall III to showcase the latest game titles, but sluggish prospects this year have led to the cancellation of this year's festival.

"Some game developers have not come up with new titles, and therefore decided to pull out of the show," Chen said, adding that most vendors also prefer to be located under one roof in Hall I where all consumers can congregate, instead of being located in two separate halls.

Microsoft is slated to push Xbox 360 game consoles and Sony plans to promote PlayStation Portable players at the show. But local game developers such as ChineseGamer International Corp (中華網龍), Gamania Digital Entertainment Co (遊戲橘子) and Wayi International Digital Entertainment Co (華義國際) didn't sign up.

However, market watchers said that vendors will still have reason to smile over the next few months.

"We expect that the second half will be better than the first half, fueled by back-to-school sales in summer and the Christmas shopping spree," said Chris Hung (洪春暉), senior analyst with the Taipei-based Market Intelligence Center (資訊市場情報中心).

Vendors were overly optimistic about the business opportunities brought by the World Cup in the first half, which caused a pile-up of inventory that is still waiting to be digested in the third quarter, he said.

But local sales of handsets, for instance, still enjoyed growth of more than 10 percent in the first six months, he said, adding that computer sales are also expected to show momentum in the second half.

With chipmakers Intel Corp and Advanced Micro Devices Inc recently slashing processor prices by up to 50 percent, this should serve as a stimulant to boost computer demand, according to Chen.

Attendants at the five-day Taipei Computer Applications Show have to pay a NT$200 (US$6.09) admission. NT$50 discount vouchers are available in major newspapers and magazines.

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