Sat, Nov 29, 2003 - Page 1 News List

Organizers expect record attendance at IT Month

By Jessie Ho  /  STAFF REPORTER

Following in the footsteps of Computex Taipei, the annual IT Month computer trade show, which begins today in Taipei, is expected to draw a record number of visitors.

"We estimate visitors for the nine-day event in Taipei will reach 750,000, an approximate 4.2 percent increase from last year," Lee Chi-hsien (李季憲), an official at the Taipei Computer Association (台北市電腦公會), co-organizer of the event, said yesterday.

The event has attracted 566 exhibitors displaying at 2,871 booths -- a record high, Lee said.

With liquid-crystal displays and flat-panel TVs taking the lead in the global IT market this year, along a large number of companies expected to replace older computers, Lee said sales figures for this year are expected to grow by 10 percent over last year.

A variety of discounts and giveaways during the show will also fatten exhibitors' pockets, Lee said.

IBM Corp, for example, is promoting "kamikaze sales" for its ThinkPad R40 notebook computer series. The notebooks, with Intel Centrino processors, start from NT$36,000 before tax, and PCs start from NT$9,999, Hank Horng (洪漢青), an executive with IBM Taiwan's personal computing division, told reporters yesterday.

"With all our super deals, we plan to sell 12,300 notebooks during the exhibition, up from 7,000 last year," Horng said.

In another corner of the exhibition hall, rival Hewlett-Packard Co announced price cuts on various products. Its Presario 2100 laptop will sell for NT$29,900, a NT$5,000 discount over the original price, said Ann Chen (陳怡安), an HP manager.

One feature at this year's exhibition is a discounted package featuring the computer, imaging and printing peripherals, Chen said.

Acer Inc, a local computer manufacturer, also said it will cut its prices from NT$3,000 to NT$6,000 per item during the trade show, a company statement said.

Asustek Computer Inc (華碩電腦), one of the nation's major motherboard makers, said it has no intention of waging a price war, instead providing gifts for customers who buy their products.

The exhibition is scheduled to run from today until Dec. 7 at the Taipei World Trade Center Exhibition Hall from 10am to 6pm. It will then move south to Taichung, Tainan and wrap up in Kaohsiung on Jan. 14. Admission is free.

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