Xiaomi Corp (小米) is likely to ship only 300,000 notebook computers this year, lower than market estimates of 1 million units, according to the Chinese company’s supply chain sources.
The lower shipment estimates for this year comes after the Chinese company postponed the launch date of its laptops by several quarters, sources said.
Inventec Corp (英業達), Xiaomi’s long-term assembly partner, in September last year said it would help the company make its first-ever notebook product in the first quarter of this year.
The Chinese company later picked Wistron Corp (緯創) over Compal Electronics Co (仁寶) to be the second assembler for its notebooks, people who are familiar with the matter told the Taipei Times.
Both Inventec and Wistron are expected to start shipping Xiaomi notebooks from this quarter — 150,000 units of the 12-inch notebooks from Inventec and 150,000 units of the 13-inch model from Wistron, sources said.
The Chinese company is scheduled to hold a product launch on Wednesday next week in Beijing, which is widely anticipated to introduce its new Redmi smartphone and two notebooks.
Inventec yesterday confirmed that it would start to ship Xiaomi’s 12-inch notebook from the end of this month, but refused to say if projected total shipments would be 150,000 units.
“I can only say the initial shipments for the products are not massive,” an Inventec official said by telephone.
Wistron declined to comment on its clients.
Yuanta Securities Investment Consulting Co (元大投顧) said it is possible that Xiaomi’s notebook shipments would only reach 300,000 units this year due to time constraint for its suppliers.
In addition, the Chinese company might post its first annual decline in smartphone shipments this year, because of “very” weak demand in the first quarter, Yuanta analyst Jeff Pu (蒲得宇) said by telephone.
Pu said that Chinese smartphone demand was bleak in the first quarter, but improved significantly in the second quarter, with the strength extending into this quarter.
However, the recovery would not be enough to offset the weakness in the first quarter, he said.
“We forecast that Xiaomi’s smartphone shipments would drop more than 17 percent to 58 million units this year from last year’s 70 million, which would impact Xiaomi’s smartphone assemblers,” Pu said.
However, Inventec said Xiaomi has not lowered its order forecast for smartphones for this year.
“Inventec still expects to ship between 40 million and 45 million handsets this year, including smartphones for Xiaomi,” a company official said.
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