Gigabyte Technology Corp (技嘉科技), which makes motherboards and notebook computers, yesterday said it aimed to grow its notebook shipments by 30 percent this year, in the hope that Microsoft Corp’s Windows 8 operating system and its new ultra-thin laptops would stimulate replacement demand.
The company is aiming to ship 200,000 units this year, compared with 150,000 units last year, Richard Ma (馬孟明), a Gigabyte senior vice president, told reporters on the sidelines of a press conference to launch Gibabyte’s latest ultra-thin laptop.
Gigabyte expects growth momentum to gather steam in the second half, as “there will be more new products on the market,” Ma said.
Shipments would not be affected by a short supply of hard disk drives, as the problem was resolved in April, he said.
The growth rate would be 50 percent year-on-year in the second half, Ma said.
Gigabyte plans to launch new models in the second half, including new notebooks and tablets running on Windows 8 in the fourth quarter, in line with the sale of Microsoft’s new operating system, Ma said.
Yesterday, Gigabyte launched three ultra-thin notebooks with affordable prices, ranging from US$699 per unit to US$1,299, amid concerns that high prices would be a major factor curbing the sales of Ultrabooks.
US$699 is the lowest price for an ultra-thin notebook, while the lowest price of an ultra-thin Macbook Air is US$999.
The company declined to reveal if the ultra-thin laptop is equipped with Intel’s new Ivy bridge chip sets for second-generation Ultrabooks.
The company aims to boost its ultra-thin notebook share to 40 percent or 50 percent of its total notebook shipments this year, Ma said.
The notebook business accounts for as much as 10 percent of Giga-byte’s total revenue, based on historical records.
Gigabyte yesterday said it kept its outlook for the second quarter unchanged, after the world’s No. 3 contract notebook maker, Wistron Corp (緯創), cut its forecast for the current quarter.
Wistron said shipments would be flat, or even drop from the first quarter, rather than growing the previously estimated 5 percent quarter-on-quarter, because global economic uncertainty hurt its clients’ businesses and there is an insufficient supply of Intel’s Ivy Bridge chips.
Gigabyte said motherboard shipments would be flat, or even grow slightly this quarter, compared with 4.5 million units shipped last quarter.
“The second quarter used to be a slack season. This year shipments will be flattish, or increase slightly, helped by sales of new products and a lower base in the first quarter,” Gigabyte Investor Relations Division director K. J. Sun (孫國仁) said.