Mon, Nov 19, 2007 - Page 12 News List

Topology forecasts strong growth for laptop makers

STAFF WRITER

In a recent report on the notebook market for next year, Taipei-based Topology Research Institute (拓墣產研) predicted that the market would grow from 93 million units this year to 116 million units next year.

According to a report in the Chinese-language Commercial Times yesterday, the institute said the biggest growth would take place in the consumer segment, with Acer and Apple notebook computers enjoying the fastest growth, while Wistron Corp (緯創), which has received many large orders, is predicted to see the largest increase among original equipment manufacturers.

Topology predicted the lack of materials this year would cause demand to peak at around 93 million units, an estimate that is more conservative than other recent projections.

Topology researcher Tseng Wan-chen (曾宛軫) says that falling notebook prices would seem to guarantee that laptops will continue to replace desktop computers next year, placing demand at 116 million units, an increase of 24.73 percent over this year.

Since consumer notebook computers are replacing laptops for business applications as the driving force behind market growth, Topology predicted that Acer (宏基電腦), which recently introduced its Gemstone line of consumer notebooks, and Apple, with its MacBook laptops, would be the top beneficiaries of growing demand.

The institute said these two companies should see market share growth of about 1 percentage point, which translates to a sales increase of 30 percent.

Original equipment manufacturers will continue to enjoy the benefits of overall growth in demand, but as the nation's five largest notebook manufacturers already receive 80 percent of global order volume, growth for these individual companies will depend on how orders are divided between them.

Wistron, which has received orders from HP and Dell, was named as having the most potential for next year, and Topology estimated that the company's production volume would increase from 12 million units this year to 17 million units next year -- an increase of more than 40 percent.

Tseng also said that the introduction of low-cost computers such as the One Laptop Per Child model and Asustek Computer Inc's (華碩電腦) Eee PC was a sign that low-cost computers would develop into a new market offering light and easy-to-use units.

Tseng also said that notebooks with screen sizes of 10 inches and smaller would become more common, and that this would create growth in companies producing small-sized panels.

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