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  • Large Taiwan Notebook PC Makers Fill Order Books for 1998
  • July 9, 1998 (TAIPEI) -- Taiwan's notebook computer manufacturers have just about filled their order books for the rest of 1998, making it difficult for small competitors to make sales.
    Based on orders received so far, it appears that the over -concentration of orders in the hands of a few firms has become even more pronounced this year than ever before.

    As a result, the strong companies continue to grow stronger, while the less competitive makers are being priced out of the market.

    The larger, more well-known notebook manufacturers are naturally more successful at attracting original equipment manufacturing (OEM ) orders from multinational clients than are their smaller competitors.

    And those companies that have developed OEM ties with leading international suppliers remain the major winners in terms of market share.

    Quanta Computer Inc., Acer Inc., Inventec Corp., Arima Computer Corp . and Compal Electronics Inc. are expected to take the top five spots in terms of market share this year.

    And not surprisingly, all of these firms act as OEM producers for major multinational clients.

    Twinhead International Corp. is predicted to come in sixth or seventh place, thanks to the popularity of its own-brand products.

    Mitac International Corp., Clevo Co. and First International Computer Inc., with their abundant operational resources, should also perform relatively well, while relative newcomer Asustek Computer Inc. is successful due largely to its plentiful funding and technical background.

    Results of a recent survey by Twinhead indicate that notebook shipments by the five leading makers will account for 69-70 percent of the total this year, up from the 62 percent reported in 1997.

    That means the market share of the smaller firms is contracting.

    Based on order placement to date, Quanta is expected to eclipse Acer for the first time this year, to post the best performance in terms of notebook computer deliveries.

    This is due largely to Quanta's new orders from International Business Machines Corp.

    Inventec remains competitive, as it has been supported by orders from another U.S. computer giant Compaq Computer Corp.

    Compal has contracted OEM orders with five major international suppliers in Japan and the United States.

    Its success has been attributed to its reputation for sophisticated technology, as well as to its continued health and stability in the face of the economic crunch.

    Asustek Computer has expressed confidence in its ability in the notebook market.

    It is making efforts to strengthen its research and marketing capabilities, and it plans to introduce a low-priced notebook, to be retailed at US$1,500, in the first quarter of 1999.

    Small and medium companies with annual deliveries of only around 200 ,000 to 300,000 units, by contrast, are under especially heavy pressure this year.

    Many are even being forced to rely on their affiliates for financial support.

    (Commercial Times, Taiwan)

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    Updated: Wed Jul 8 16:50:21 1998