Wed, Oct 11, 2006 - Page 12 News List

Kinpo projects handset shipment growth of 30 percent

STAFF WRITER

Bolstered by new orders from an Indian telecom operator, Kinpo Group (金仁寶集團) projected that its mobile phone shipments would expand at an annual rate of 30 percent next year.

Kinpo chairman Rock Hsu (許勝雄), who recently returned from a trip to India, said that the order from India marked the first business deal with companies in one of the world's fastest-growing markets.

Hsu expects the group's total handset shipments to exceed 100 million units next year, compared with its revised target shipments of 75 million units this year, according to a report by the Chinese-language Commercial Times yesterday.

Compal Communications Inc (華寶通訊), one of Kinpo's major subsidiaries and the country's largest contract handset maker, was expected to account for the bulk of the shipments, Hsu said.

Hsu added that the group had hoped to ship 90 million phones this year, but revised down the figure after Compal Communications' decision not to make low-margin phones.

Compal Communications, the largest supplier to the world's No. 2 handset vendor, Motorola Inc, expects to ship 65 million cellphones this year, down from its earlier estimate of 70 million.

Other Kinpo Group members, AcBel Polytech Inc (康舒科技) and Cal-Comp Electronics (Thailand) Pub Co Ltd (泰金寶), make PHS (personal handy-phone system) phones that work on short transmission ranges and medium-range TDMA (time division multiple access) phones, respectively.

Kinpo Electronics Inc (金寶電子), which derives most of its sales from calculators, however, will stop manufacturing and marketing own-brand smartphones next year, Hsu said.

Some 14 months ago, Kinpo Electronics started selling its first smartphone under the brand "iDo."

Compal Communications said sales almost doubled to NT$53 billion in the first nine months of the year, compared with NT$25.7 billion during the same period last year.

But compared with the beginning of the year, shares of Compal Communications have dropped about 18 percent to close at NT$132 last Thursday, the last day of trading before the five-day holiday break, underperforming the benchmark TAIEX's 8 percent gain.

Kinpo Group also includes the world's second-largest notebook computer contractor, Compal Electronics Inc (仁寶).

Hsu expects the group's sales to grow 25 percent at an annual rate to US$20 billion next year.

Compal Electronics' notebook computer shipments would expand 20 percent to 18 million units next year from an estimated 15 million this year, he said.

The share price of Compal Electronics has slid 2 percent over the past 10 months.

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