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Taiwan Notebook Makers Upbeat About iPad 2 Threat For Now

Notebook shipments might have dropped significantly last month but Taiwanese notebook manufacturers which include the likes of Compal Electronics, Quanta Computer, Wistron and Inventec are confident that they will be see month-on-month growth even if Apple launches the iPad 2 in the first half of the month.

Compal expects to ship around three million units in February with shipments likely to grow by 50 per cent to up to 4.5 million units in March 2011 according to Taiwan news website, Digitimes.

Quanta on the other hand expects to ship around five million units next month and up to 3.2 million in this month. The two other smaller players, Inventec and Wistron, expect 1.3 million and 2.4 million units shipped respectively next month, up by 30 per cent and 37 per cent respectively.

More importantly though, even with the most optimistic forecasts, on a quarter per quarter basis, shipments will drop by up to 15 per cent for Quanta and 10 percent for Inventec, Compal and Wistron.

Higher Bill of Material and labour costs are likely to exert an upward pressure on average cost per unit device; one has to bear in mind as well that shipments does not necessarily mean sales and the announcement today that HP might exit the notebook market altogether highlights if needs be how precarious the life of a tier-one laptop manufacturer can be.