Fujitsu Ltd, Japan’s biggest provider of computer services, said the company will miss its annual shipment target for personal computers amid slow demand for Microsoft Corp’s Windows 8 operating system.
Initial demand for the software, introduced in October, is “weak,” Fujitsu president Masami Yamamoto told reporters in Tokyo on Thursday. A slump in demand in Europe resulting from the eurozone sovereign debt crisis will also erode sales he said. PC deliveries for the year ending March 31 next year could be more than 6 million units, compared with an October estimate of 7 million units, he said.
US retail sales of devices running Windows systems fell 21 percent from a year earlier in the four weeks after Microsoft released Windows 8 on Oct. 26, according to a Nov. 29 report by Port Washington, New York-based NPD Group Inc. The decrease has been fueled by a 24 percent drop in sales of notebook computers as customers opt for Apple Inc’s iPad or tablets powered by Google Inc’s Android software.
“We can’t be optimistic about the PC industry,” said Yoshihisa Toyosaki, a Tokyo-based analyst at Architect Grand Design, an electronics research and consulting company. “PC makers’ bet on Windows 8 has failed as cheaper tablet computers are taking away customers.”
Fujitsu is focusing on information technology services, helping it weather a slump in electronics sales that contributed to record losses at Sony Corp, Panasonic Corp and Sharp Corp. Yamamoto said the company does not plan to lower prices for its PCs, which along with mobile phones accounted for a combined 20 percent of Fujitsu’s revenue in the year that ended March 31, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
“Fujitsu doesn’t plan to join its competitors in discounting [to sustain sales],” Yamamoto said. The company needs to strengthen its services in overseas markets, shifting from a product-focused approach, he said.
The company had said earlier it was counting on shipments in Europe and other overseas markets to account for more than half of total PC sales in the current fiscal year.
Shares in Fujitsu, a supplier to Samsung Electronics Co, fell 0.8 percent to ￥360 at the close of trading on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. The stock has declined 10 percent this year, compared with a 23 percent gain in the benchmark Nikkei 225 Stock Average.
Dell Inc, the world’s third-largest PC maker, said on Dec. 12 it is seeing strong demand for computers and tablets running Windows 8.
Interest in the operating system is “quite high,” Dell chief executive officer Michael Dell said at a conference in Austin, Texas.
Microsoft plans to overhaul how it develops its flagship Windows operating system in a strategic shift aimed at keeping pace with nimbler rivals Apple and Google, people familiar with the matter said last month.
Microsoft aims to upgrade the software more frequently, about once a year, rather than every two or three years as it has done in the past, the people said. The world’s largest software maker has floundered as personal computers, where it has long dominated, have lost ground to the smartphones and tablets championed by Apple and Google.
Fujitsu, the maker of the K supercomputer, will decide on a restructuring plan for its unprofitable chip business by March 31 next year, Yamamoto said, declining to provide details. The company is trying to rely more on other firms to make its chips instead of running its own chip-fabrication plants.
Units of Intel Corp and Samsung Electronics Co are targeting to resume full operations of their Ho Chi Minh City plants by the end of next month, a move that could provide relief to global supply chains. Saigon Hi-Tech Park is helping its tenants, many of which are running at about 70 percent capacity, to operate fully next month, park deputy manager Le Bich Loan said in a phone interview. She did not elaborate on the steps the park is taking, particularly efforts at bringing back workers who fled to home provinces. The Ho Chi Minh City unit of Nidec Sankyo Corp,
CHIP CRUNCH: Apple’s woes show that even the king of the technology world is not immune from global shortages made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic Apple Inc is likely to slash its projected iPhone 13 production targets for this year by as many as 10 million units as prolonged chip shortages hit its flagship product, people with knowledge of the matter said. The company had expected to produce 90 million new iPhone models in the final three months of this year, but it is now telling manufacturing partners that the total would be lower because Broadcom Inc and Texas Instruments Inc are struggling to deliver enough components, the people said. Apple gets display parts from Texas Instruments, while Broadcom is its longtime supplier of wireless components. One Texas
EVA Airways Corp (長榮航空) and China Airlines Ltd (中華航空), the nation’s two major airlines, reported accelerated revenue growth in the third quarter compared with the previous two quarters, thanks to robust air cargo business. EVA Airways yesterday said sales for last quarter rose 40 percent year-on-year to NT$25.81 billion (US$917 million), compared with an increase of 25 percent in the second quarter and a fall of 35 percent in the first quarter. China Airlines said sales grew 39 percent to NT$34.6 billion in the third quarter, after gaining 10 percent in the second quarter and falling 14 percent in the first quarter. EVA
Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密) is embarking on a recruitment drive to hire 200,000 workers in Shenzhen, China, as it ramps up production of the new iPhone 13 series, Chinese business news outlet Eastmoney.com reported. Hon Hai is seeking to recruit those heading back to the city after China’s seven-day National Day holiday, which began on Oct. 1, to help churn out the estimated 100,000 iPhone 13s produced on the site each day, the report said. Following last month’s global release of the iPhone 13, Hon Hai entered its traditional peak season, and workers at its Chinese production sites are said