The momentum of the PC market in the first quarter is expected to be strong on the back of a recovering economy and new technology launches, computer makers and industry watchers said yesterday.
“Prospects for the current quarter are much better than for the same period last year,” said Yvonne Syau (蕭妙卿), a public relations official with Hewlett-Packard (HP) Taiwan Ltd.
As the economy is gradually emerging from the financial crisis last year, companies would be more generous with bonuses before the Lunar New Year next month, she said.
Sales should also be picking up in March thanks to the back-to-school period after the holidays, Syau said on the sidelines of an Intel Corp microprocessor launch event.
HP Taiwan is set to debut 10 new products — two desktops and eight notebook computers — featuring the latest Intel chipsets by the end of this month, in the hope that more consumers will be willing to loosen purse strings for new technological gadgets.
Intel yesterday unveiled its next generation of Core line microprocessors, touting it as “the most important product launch and technology breakthrough for Intel in the past 10 years.”
The leading chipmaker expects its new chipsets to fuel growth momentum for the PC industry.
“Companies have been wanting more new product and technology launches to revive the whole industry,” said Stanley Huang (黃逸松), managing director of Intel Microelectronics Asia Ltd.
The rollout of Windows 7 by Microsoft Corp late last year has bolstered PC replacement demand to some extent, but the addition of newer technology and product introductions would further spur users to upgrade their PCs, he said.
Designed to power desktop and laptop PCs, the new Core microprocessors are the first of a new generation of chips featuring smaller 32-nanometer transistors that Intel said would boost performance and improve energy efficiency.
The new processors are the first to include basic graphic capabilities, which it said would support high-definition video playback and casual 3D games.
Research house International Data Corp (IDC) Taiwan also said the improving economy would bolster PC growth for the year.
Developing markets, especially China, would see PC buying sprees this year. Momentum from these markets would boost overall PC shipment expansion, said Dickie Chang (張祐菖), PC solutions analyst at IDC Taiwan.
Meanwhile, Compal Electronics Inc (仁寶電腦), the world’s largest notebook maker by shipments, expects its laptop shipments to hit between 4.4 million and 4.5 million units this month — a level that is equivalent to the peak month last year, the Chinese-language Economic Daily reported on Thursday, citing company president Ray Chen (陳瑞聰).
The uptick is because of strong demand in emerging markets such as China, and thanks to the seasonal factor as clients start to pile up inventory to prepare for surge in sales over the upcoming Lunar New Year, Chen said.
Full-year shipments may reach between 45 million and 48 million units, Chen was quoted as saying.