Fri, Feb 11, 2011 - Page 12 News List

Far EasTone sees weaker demand in Q1 for tablet PCs

Staff Writer, with CNA

Far EasTone Telecommunications Co (遠傳電信), Taiwan’s third-biggest telecoms operator, expects weak demand for tablet computers during the first quarter of this year as a result of the limited number of products on the market, a company vice president said yesterday.

“So far, only eight or nine tablet computers have been launched in Taiwan, and most consumers have been waiting for more models that are expected to go on sale in the second quarter of this year,” Far EasTone executive vice president for marketing and consumer business Benjamin Ho (何永生) said at a press conference to announce the launch of Samsung’s Galaxy S i9003 smartphone.

The company plans to sell another six or seven tablet devices in Taiwan this year, Ho said.

“Pricing strategy is very important. Tablet prices should be likened to those of netbook computers if manufacturers want to boost sales,” he added.

Ho said he expected the average monthly per capita revenue from Far EasTone’s tablet subscribers to be between NT$900 (US$31.14) and NT$1,000 in the first stage and that the number would increase to a higher level with the introduction of more data services and applications.

Earlier this week, Goldman Sachs Group Inc, the global investment banking and securities firm, raised its forecast for shipments of tablets this year from 54.7 million units to 60.1 million units, because of -stronger-than-expected demand.

Meanwhile, Barclays Capital sees tablet sales jumping to 70 million units next year.

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