Wed, Feb 22, 2012 - Page 11 News List

Taiwanese Q4 computer shipments slump: report

WAITING:Inventories are still recovering from last year’s floods in Thailand, while IDC sees strong momentum in the second half this year as new products are introduced

By Jason Tan  /  Staff Reporter

Shipments of PCs, including notebooks and desktops, in Taiwan slumped 2.9 percent in the fourth quarter last year as floods in Thailand caused a severe shortage of hard disk drives, a report said yesterday.

According to International Data Corp (IDC), Taiwan shipped 705,448 PCs in the fourth quarter, down 2.9 percent from a year ago and a dip of 17 percent from the previous quarter.

The shortage of hard drives resulted from floods in Thailand, which produces about a third of the world’s hard drives, affecting sales of desktops and notebooks as a whole, the IDC report said.

The scarcity pushed up costs of hard drives and to reflect the additional costs, PC vendors were reluctant to launch promotions to attract buyers, the report said.

Without such promotions, year-end demand for PCs declined 2.7 percent year-on-year in the consumer market, while demand in the commercial segment dropped 3.4 percent, the IDC statement added.

Notebook shipments hit 343,704 units in the fourth quarter, down 4.9 percent year-on-year and a plunge of 20.3 percent quarter-on-quarter, IDC said.

In terms of desktops, shipments totaled 361,744 units, inching down 1 percent year-on-year, or a drop of 13.7 percent from the previous quarter.

The market researcher forecast that PC shipments in Taiwan this quarter would not fare much better than the previous quarter because of the uncertainties shrouding the macroeconomy, which have caused consumers to tighten their purse strings. Also, hard drive producers have yet to fully recover their production capacity.

IDC projected PC shipments this quarter would fall 2.4 percent compared with the same period last year, while plunging a steeper 14 percent compared with the fourth quarter last year.

With hard drive production expected to return to normal full by the end of the second quarter, PC shipments in the April-to-June period are expected to drop 3.3 percent year-on-year, but see an increase of 4.7 percent from the first three months.

Looking ahead to the whole year, IDC said total shipments should see “steady growth” from last year, without giving a specific figure.

The second half would see more robust momentum in shipments thanks to the launch of Ivy Bridge, Intel Corp’s next-generation microprocessor, during the second quarter, as well as the much-awaited introduction of Windows 8, Microsoft Corp’s latest operating system, expected in October.

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