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  • Taiwan to Own 90 Pct. of Global Scanner Mart by 2000
  • December 30, 1998 (TAIPEI) -- Taiwan shipped 15.24 million image scanners in 1998 for an 84 percent share of the global market, according to Taiwan's Market Intelligence Center (MIC).
    The semi-official think tank even predicted that image scanners made by Taiwan companies will account for 90 percent of the global output by the year 2000. MIC is part of Taiwan's Institute for Information Industry (III).

    However, the scanner market is already highly saturated, and this is expected to put a damper on profit margins, MIC officials warned. The organization suggests local scanner manufacturers take steps to diversify their operations in order to minimize risks.

    MIC research fellows pointed out that the nine image scanner makers in Taiwan have been in cut-throat competition since last year, forcing the prices of scanners to drop from US$250 in 1996 to just US$199 by the end of 1997. The race in resolution phased out low-end products at an even faster pace in the first quarter of 1998, driving the price of a 300dpi scanner down to the current level of only US$20.

    Due to these low prices, many foreign competitors were forced to turn all of their output over to Taiwanese companies on an original equipment manufacturing basis. Even so, the survival of local scanner manufacturers was severely hampered by the vicious competition.

    To cut production costs, several Taiwanese companies, including Umax Data Systems Inc., Mustek Systems Inc. and Microtek International Inc., have moved their production lines to China. The percentage of scanners produced in Taiwan fell dramatically from 89.5 percent last year to 47.4 percent by the fourth quarter of 1998. The figure is expected to continue tumbling to 30.4 percent next year, while products made in Chinese factories are expected to account for more than 60 percent of the total output of Taiwanese scanner companies.

    Multinational companies, including Hewlett Packard Co., have been shifting production to Taiwanese manufacturers for OEM services.

    (Commercial Times, Taiwan)

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    Updated: Tue Dec 29 15:52:37 1998 PDT