Press Room
Desktop Replacement, Seasonal Factors Brew Another High for Taiwanese Notebook PCs in 4Q 2003
February 03, 2004
- Taiwanese notebook PC shipment set a new record high in the fourth quarter of 2003, growing 68.4% year on year and 28.3% sequentially to reach 8.2 million units. Holiday demand and notebook PC replacement of desktop PCs were the main growth drivers. Affected by component shortages, notebook PC costs have increased, which has limited the decline of ASP (Average Selling Price). Combined with high shipment volume in the fourth quarter of 2003, shipment value continued to grow, reaching over US$5.3 billion for 49.9% year on year growth and 27.5% sequential growth.

Although notebook PC shipment increased robustly in the fourth quarter of 2003, component shortages affected some makers' shipment performance. LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) panel, HDD (Hard Disk Drive), and battery shortages were the most severe. LCD panels were affected by lack of components, as well as demand from LCD TV applications; 2.5" HDD shipments were impacted by yield rate and capacity problems; battery shortages were caused by demand growth from mobile phone applications. However, the battery supply situation has since stabilized.

Furthermore, industry concentration is relatively high as HP and Dell's orders are mainly to first tier makers. Presently, first tier maker share is nearing 70%, hence hindering the growth of the remaining makers. Maker ranking in the fourth quarter of 2003 also displayed a large variation from the third quarter. ASUS and Uniwill moved up in the rankings, warranting closer attention toward the future development of these two players.

In the first quarter of 2004, given low seasonal demand paired with reduced working days due to the Chinese lunar New Year, shipment volume is anticipated to decline 8.9% sequentially. As the industry moves into the weaker retail season, the tight supply situation will likely be relieved, which will be beneficial in ensuring steady shipment volume.