Sat, Feb 21, 2009 - Page 12 News List

Notebook makers’ Q4 shipments fell, IDC says

By Elizabeth Tchii  /  STAFF REPORTER

Domestic notebook makers experienced their first fourth-quarter shipment decline since 2005, market researcher International Data Corp (IDC) said yesterday.

For the three months ending in December, total notebook shipments by local manufacturers reached 34.82 million units, registering a quarter-on-quarter decline of 0.5 percent, and year-over-year growth of 23 percent, IDC said.

Of the top five Taiwanese PC original design manufacturers (ODM), Wistron Corp (緯創) for the first time overtook Compal Electronics Inc (仁寶電腦) for the No. 2 spot, IDC tallies showed.

The fourth-quarter local ODMs in order of rankings were Quanta Computer Inc (廣達), Wistron, Compal, Inventec Co (英業達) and then Pegatron/Unihan Corp (和碩).

These first-tier ODMs constitute more than 90.3 percent of the country’s overall PC shipments.

While total notebook shipment value grew 16 percent year-on year to US$17.50 billion in the fourth quarter, the average selling price per unit dropped from US$513 in the third quarter to US$505, pushed down by the introduction of netbooks.

Pegatron/Unihan-made EeePC, and Quanta-made Aspire One experienced out-sized growths in the fourth quarter. Second-tier manufacturers such as Micro-Star International Co (MSI, 微星科技) and Elitegroup Computer Systems Co (精英電腦) benefited from the trend as well, IDC said.

Netbook shipment now accounts for more than 18 percent of total local notebook shipments and was projected to continue its growth, the US-based research house said.

“Even though netbook shipment grew quarter-on-quarter, the results are still far below our anticipated forecasts. As we see 10 inch netbooks becoming mainstream, this puts tremendous stress on its smaller rival, the 8.9 inch. So we’re now closely watching individual company’s digestion of its 8.9 inch netbook inventories in the first quarter,” Helen Chiang (江芳韻), IDC research manager of PC & Peripherals Group, said in a client note.

As the global recession hit emerging markets, ODM shipments to Latin America and Eastern Europe have suffered as a result. IDC said it will watch developments in these regions in the first quarter.

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