Most Taiwanese brands will struggle to gain a foothold in the global tablet computer market, which is a fast-growing, but an increasingly competitive sector, Japanese brokerage Nomura Holdings Inc said recently in a note to clients.
“We think that most Taiwanese brands might continue to find it challenging to grow their market share significantly, given their inferior cost structure on the back of smaller economies of scale,” Nomura analysts wrote in a note on Friday.
The brokerage also believed that Asustek Computer Inc (華碩電腦) would be one of the few firms to buck the trend and would likely maintain its market share at 5.5 percent next year.
This would make it the fourth-largest player in the sector after Apple Inc, which leads the pack with a 48 percent market share, followed by Samsung Electronics Co at 38.5 percent and Amazon.com Inc at 6.6 percent.
The success of Taiwan-based Asustek Computer Inc could be attributed to its strong expertise in research and development, which may help it sustain a mutually beneficial partnership with Google Inc until next year at least, Nomura analysts said.
Other Taiwanese brands, including Acer Inc (宏碁) and HTC Corp (宏達電), were likely to account for less than 5 percent of the global tablet computer market next year, the analysts added.
Nomura also expected worldwide tablet shipments to grow to 190 million units next year, up 61 percent from an estimated 118 million units this year.
This forecast was significantly higher than the growth rates seen in the notebook computer, television and smartphone industries, Nomura analysts said.
The Japanese brokerage added that this could be because most of the new tablet PC lines had only recently been launched and would continue selling next year.
However, the global tablet market could see more intense competition next year, as online retailer Amazon.com is expected to launch more affordable models and as software giant Microsoft Corp forays into the segment with its Surface tablet, Nomura said.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch predicted earlier this month that global tablet shipments will surpass those of notebook computers in 2014 and become representative of a majority of computing devices on the back of robust demand.
The US bank raised its tablet shipment forecast for this year, next year and 2014 to 117 million, 176 million and 217 million units respectively, up from a previous forecast of 100 million, 137 million and 177 million units.
It also projected that notebook PC shipments were expected to grow at a slower pace to 188 million units this year, 188 million units next year and 197 million units in 2014.
Tablets would account for 39 percent of global computer sales in 2014, higher than the 35 percent for notebooks and 26 percent for desktop computers, the bank said.