Market researcher International Data Corp (IDC) lowered its forecast of notebook shipments next year to 177.7 million units, saying deepening economic woes could delay consumer and corporate purchases.
That represents a drop of 3.8 percent from IDC’s previous estimate of 184.7 million units made in April as buyers tightened spending amid a global economic slump.
IDC, however, sharply raised its projection for global shipments of netbooks, or low-cost laptops, to 11.4 million units for this year and 21.5 million next year.
These figures represent a quadruple rise from its April estimate of 3.5 million for this year and 5.5 million units for next year because of fast consumer uptake in Western Europe, the researcher said. The figure may increase to 42.1 million in 2012, it added.
The markets for notebooks, monitors and TVs in Western Europe and the US are roughly similar in size, but in the case of mininotes, “it is about eight to one, Western Europe versus the US, which is extremely surprising,” IDC analyst Bob O’Donnell told a press briefing in Taipei.
Taiwanese computer companies Acer Inc (宏碁) and Asustek Computer Inc (華碩) may have relatively low brand awareness in the US, but both enjoy robust sales in Europe, where they have strong brand recognition, O’Donnell said.
Telecom operators in Europe and Japan have also begun to offer netbooks at a sharp discount or for free in exchange for two-year service contracts, which have helped boost the popularity of netbooks, he said.
The economy will likely only have an indirect impact on netbook sales, he said. Buyers in emerging markets could be enticed by netbooks’ lower price, while those in developed markets could put off upgrading their notebooks and opt for a netbook.
IDC also slashed its overall PC shipment forecast for next year by 6 percent to 324 million units.
“A worsening economy also has a ripple effect on LCD [liquid crystal display] TV sales and weakening demand,” said Eric Haruki, who tracks TV markets and technologies for IDC.
Haruki cut his forecast for global LCD TV sales this year by 4 percent to 95 million units, although Black Friday sales in the US looked good.
As IDC’s survey shows continuing strong interest in flat-panel TVs, Haruki was optimistic that “there’s gonna be robust demand next year.”
Shipments of LCD TVs may grow 24 percent to 118 million units next year, he said.
But the volume growth would be at the expense of margins and revenues, as consumers are expecting deeper discounts, Haruki said.
Japan’s Sony Corp and South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co initiated a price war in the US early this year, allowing them to gain market share while forcing the smaller brands to exit the market, he said.
Gogoro Inc (睿能創意) yesterday launched its first electric bicycle, the Gogoro Eeyo 1, in Taiwan, after unveiling the bike in New York in late May and in France on Tuesday. The company said it would also introduce the series in other European countries such as Germany and the Netherlands. The “Eeyo project” is the fourth of Gogoro’s eight projects that concentrate on smart transportation, which includes Gogoro’s electric scooter, battery swap system and electric scooter sharing service, company founder and chief executive officer Horace Luke (陸學森) told a media briefing in Taipei. “There are various types of city commuters. We will not
EXPERIMENTAL DRUG: While news about a COVID-19 vaccine is more eye-catching, developing a treatment would be more viable, the Senhwa boss said Senhwa Biosciences Inc (生華科) aims to raise NT$1.5 billion (US$50.57 million) by issuing 15 million new common shares in the third quarter of this year to fund the research of new drugs, including the experimental drug Silmitasertib for the treatment of COVID-19, the company said on Monday. That would be the firm’s largest fundraising effort after it raised more than NT$1.4 billion from an initial public offering on the Taipei Exchange (TPEX) in April 2017, chief financial officer Sarah Chang (張小萍) told the Taipei Times by telephone. The price of the new shares would depend on the firm’s average share price
NOT A PANACEA: Offering 5G services would not solve the problem of declining telecom incomes, chairman Sheih Chi-mau said, expecting a flat 5G telecom revenue Chunghwa Telecom Co (中華電信) yesterday became the nation’s first telecom to debut its 5G services, offering tiered tariffs that include a threshold of NT$599 and flat rates, as it aims to switch half of its subscribers to the 5G network within three years. Subscribers would have unlimited data transmission for monthly fees starting at NT$1,399 — the same flat rate as when the company launched its 4G service in 2014 — and they can subscribe to the highest-rate plan for NT$2,699 per month for faster data transmission speeds and larger bandwidth, the company said. Data transmission speeds would be within the range
STAYING AHEAD: TSMC expects its sales this year to grow 14 to 19 percent and could spend up to US$3.52 billion on research and development, leaving its rivals far behind Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) reported that the US last year approved 99 percent of its patent applications, which placed the tech giant among the top patent holders in the US. In its Corporate Social Responsibility Report, TSMC said it last year secured about 3,600 patents worldwide, including more than 2,300 in the US. As of the end of last year, TSMC owned more than 39,000 patents, the report said. The company last year filed almost 6,500 patent applications worldwide and ranked among the top 10 patent applicants in the US. In Taiwan, it was the largest patent applicant for the fourth