February 9, 1998 (TAIPEI) -- Taiwan's notebook computer market is expected to see a sharp increase in
output in 1998, as more companies start making the products and established firms expand.
The number of companies producing notebooks is expected to increase from 20 to more than 25 in 1998,
while the established producers are expanding production volume, enhancing global logistic abilities
and improving inventory management to sharpen their competitive edge.
Taiwan's leading notebook makers -- Acer Inc., Inventec Corp. and Compal Electronics Inc. -- all plan
to expand production by 25 percent to 100 percent this year.
Arima Computer and Quanta Computer, two new stars in the market, aim to boost their output to 600,000
and 800,000 units, respectively. Several listed electronics companies, including Advanced
Semiconductor Engineering Inc. (A.S.E.), GVC Corp., Lite-on Technology Corp., Asustek Computer Inc.,
Umax Data Systems Inc. and Philips Taiwan Ltd., also have set up notebook computer departments to
compete with established market forces.
In the past, local electronics companies were generally reluctant to enter into the notebook computer
business due to its high technology threshold and the high costs of related R&D; and production.
However, the strong growth potential and high profit margin recently have attracted previously
hesitant consortia to invest in the industry.
In addition, smaller manufacturers have expanded operations to gain a foothold in the market.
Twinhead International Corp., for example, aims to increase production from 380,000 to 550,000 units
this year, while Clevo Co. is aiming to boost capacity from 340,000 to 1 million units.
Taiwan manufactured 4.61 million notebook computers last year to become the world's second-largest
maker of these products. In addition, the gap between Taiwan's production volume and that of the
world's top notebook maker, Japan, is expected to continue narrowing this year.
(Commercial Times, Taiwan)