Tue, Dec 20, 2011 - Page 12 News List

Mobile phones set to be technology spending driver

By Amy Su  /  Staff Reporter

Total information technology spending by Taiwanese enterprises next year is set to grow a moderate 7.8 percent from NT$277.7 billion (US$9.14 billion) this year, with mobile phones driving the growth, industry tracker International Data Corp (IDC) said yesterday.

Spending on hardware — such as PCs, servers, storage, handsets and peripherals — would continue to account for more than 70 percent, while spending on software and -information technology services would be just under 30 percent.

The 7.8 percent growth rate is lower than the 8.5 percent forecast for this year, IDC Taiwan research manager Helen Chiang (江芳韻) said, adding that the slowing economy was the main reason for the market researcher’s more conservation outlook.

“Private-sector firms such as those in the LCD panel, semiconductor and PC industries might hold off capital expenditures for next year,” Chiang told a press conference.

In addition, public sector information technology spending could be delayed in the first half of next year until the new president takes office on May 20, Chiang added.

However, the mobile phone sector will continue to grow more quickly than any other information technology product in Taiwan next year, with spending on smartphones expected to grow 18.6 percent, the market researcher said in a report.

Low-price smartphones would cannibalize and speed up the replacement of feature phones next year, Chiang said, adding that smartphones under US$150 would grow in terms of unit shipments and market share next year.

Chiang said smartphone penetration in Taiwan could reach 51 percent this year, higher than the 30 percent global penetration, indicating that the domestic smartphone market is reaching the stage of a mature market.

“Currently, the only way for smartphone makers to expand their domestic market would be a lower-price strategy,” Chiang said.

Therefore, companies including China’s top two telecommunications equipment makers, Huawei Technologies Co Ltd (華為) and ZTE Corp (中興), have started to work together with local telecoms operators, which could result in severe price competition in Taiwan’s smartphone sector, she said.

Meanwhile, near field communication (NFC) technology could be widely used in smartphones next year, as the smartphone is a key -device for NFC related applications, the researcher said.

For the media tablet sector, -Chiang said Apple Inc’s iPad would retain its 60 percent market share next year, while the debut of tablets running on the Android 4.0 and Windows 8 operating systems would accelerate competition, IDC said.

As for the portable PC segment, the ultrabook might only have a 10 percent market share next year, lower than market expectations, Chiang said.

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