Major PC vendors expect a shortage of key components to last another 12 months until the second quarter of next year, when PC demand wanes after two years of robust expansion, a UBS analyst said yesterday.
Concern has risen among investors that PC demand could weaken as the US and European economies reopen from COVID-19 lockdowns and gradually return to in-person business activities.
At the annual Taiwan Conference that began on Monday, UBS analysts said they had similar discussions with companies in PC supply chains, and the feedback from major PC vendors indicated that demand remained quite strong on the back of slim inventories of two to three weeks, compared with the normal six to eight weeks.
PC supply still lagged consumer demand, with a gap of 20 to 30 percent, UBS head of Taiwan hardware industry Grace Chen (陳星嘉) told a virtual media briefing.
Key component supply constraints remain the choke point, she added.
“For PCs, the component shortage is mainly IC related, like driver ICs and power management ICs. The panel shortage is not very serious now,” Chen said in an e-mail to the Taipei Times
She expects global PC shipments to continue growing at a double-digit percentage sequentially this quarter and next quarter before decelerating in the second half of this year.
For the full year, global PC shipments are forecast to grow between 10 and 20 percent annually, Chen said, adding that growth would be slower next year.
As major PC vendors unanimously expect key component supply constraints to start easing in the second quarter next year, PC supply and demand could reach a parity by then, she said.
Aside from the PC industry, electric vehicles might be a new growth driver for local hardware manufacturers, Chen said.
The production value of electric vehicles, which consume many more chips and electronic components than conventional vehicles, is expected to be double or triple that of PCs and mobile phones combined in the next 10 years, she said.
Electric vehicles are one key area that Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密), an iPhone assembler, has been investing in to secure growth, chairman Young Liu (劉揚偉) said in his keynote speech at the conference.
Hon Hai last year cofounded an electric vehicle development alliance called MIH, which now has more than 1,600 members from the auto, electronics and software sectors, he said.
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