Shipments for notebook computers may fall 6.3% in Q1


TAIPEI–Notebook computer shipments by Taiwan-based companies in the first quarter of this year are expected to fall 6.3 percent from the previous quarter on slowing global demand, a researcher said yesterday.

In a report, market research firm Digitimes said Taiwan’s ODM service providers are expected to ship 43.05 million notebook computers in the three-month period, which is the traditional slow season of the year for the industry, up 1.3 percent from 2010 Q1.

Global shipments of notebook computers during the same period are expected to total 48.24 million units, down 6.5 percent from a quarter earlier.

Taiwan’s ODM vendors, who manufacture most of their notebooks in China, are expected to account for 89.2 percent of the global total during the period.

The expected slower demand in the quarter also reflects weakening sales in the tablet computer sector, as new models that could stimulate buying interest will not be launched until March or April, Digitimes said.

For most branded vendors, shipments in the first quarter are expected to fall, in line with the global sales volume. Lenovo Group Ltd., China’s largest PC vendor, is expected to cut its orders to Taiwan ODM service providers, a move which has raised concerns over demand in China, the research firm said.

Fierce competition from Taiwan-based Quanta Computer Inc. in the ODM service sector is expected to hurt shipments of its competitors, with rivals Pegatron Corp. and Inventec Corp. expected to suffer the biggest declines in the first quarter, it said.

According to Digitimes, Taiwanese PC vendor AsusTek Computer Inc. is cutting its orders to Pegatron and Inventec and shifting them to Quanta.

Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., which just entered the contract notebook computer manufacturing business last year, could also overtake Pegatron to become the world’s fifth largest ODM service provider, Digitimes said.