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  • Taiwan's PC Market to Grow to 1 Million Units
  • October 12, 1998 (TAIPEI) -- Taiwan's domestic personal computer market will likely top 1 million units this year, according to the Market Intelligence Center (MIC) of Taiwan's Institute for Information Industry (III).
    The PC market reached 453,000 units in the first half of 1998, a growth of 23.4 percent over the 367,000 units in the first half of 1997, though the growth rate itself was lower than the 28.3 percent of the same period of 1997,

    In terms of Taiwan's overall economy in the first half of 1998, statistics from the Auditing Department of the Taiwan Government (Executive Yuan) indicate that domestic private investment grew by 14.1 percent and private consumer spending grew by 7.7 percent, while the wholesale index fell by 0.7 percent and the consumer price index rose by only 1.1 percent.

    This shows that the Asian financial crisis has not produced any significant negative effects on purchasing power in Taiwan's private sector, and as a result, the domestic PC market was still able to post growth in the first half of the year.

    From the perspective of market environment, consumer demand in the first half of 1998 in the domestic PC market has been affected both positively and negatively.

    On the negative side, the low-priced computer trend and the generational replacement of processors has created a wait-and-see attitude among consumers.

    On the positive side, declining computer prices have stimulated consumer spending in the market. Thus, although the domestic PC market has recorded growth, the growth rate is lower when compared to the same period last year. That can be attributed primarily to the conflicting influences mentioned above.

    The second half of the year is expected to see better market performance than the first. In terms of market cycles, summer vacation and Taiwan's "IT Month" fall within the second half of the year, so it should be a very active business period in the domestic IT market.

    In addition, the generational replacement of processors that has created a furor since the beginning of the year has for the most part reached its conclusion. That should work to dispel some consumers' expectations that computer prices will fall lower, and boost consumer spending in the market.

    The release of Windows 98 on schedule has also been beneficial to company sales and manufacturing by spurring PC sales. For all of these aforementioned reasons, MIC/III predicts that Taiwan's domestic PC market scale will reach 680,000 units in the second half of 1998, a growth of approximately 33 percent over the second half of 1997. The market for the entire year is forecast to break through the 1-million-unit mark.

    Chart: Growth of Taiwan PC market

    * Forecast Source: MIC/III, ITIS, August 1998

    (Nikkei BP Online)

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    Updated: Fri Oct 9 19:04:42 1998 PDT