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Weekend Computer News - PC Makers ARE Struggling - PCstats.com Weekend Computer News - PC Makers ARE Struggling
Sun, March 01 2009 | 1:28AM | PermaLink Feedback?
Taiwan manufacturers are having a hard time in the current economic climate, but there seems to be light at the end of 2009.

Silicon Integrated Systems (SiS) has unveiled a new high integration SiS328 HDTV chipset for the Full-HD digital LCD TV market.

Asustek striving to recover from poor performance
Asustek expects its gross margin for the first quarter of 2009 to climb despite an estimated 30% on-quarter drop in revenues thanks to inventory clearances, new strategies to protect against exchange rate fluctuations, and recent gains in PC component pricing, according to Jerry Shen, president of Asustek.

Asustek Computer and Micro-Star International (MSI) are both planning to lay off around 10% of their workforce.

SiS buys back only half of its expected treasury stock
Although Silicon Integrated System (SiS) originally planned to buy back 130 million shares during the period December 18, 2008 to February 15, 2009, the company announced today (Feb 16) that the total volume of stocks bought back was only 65 million. Average price per share was NT$4.8 (US$0.14), equivalent to a total value of NT$311.94 million.

Lenovo reportedly plans to launch an Atom N280-based IdeaPad S20 netbook featuring a 12-inch panel. The specification would break Intel's restrictions for netbook products that state devices cannot offer panel sizes larger than the 10-inch category, according to sources at notebook makers.

Nvidia announces US$99 MID platform
Nvidia has introduced a new platform, based on the Nvidia Tegra 600-series computer-on-a-chip, that enables a US$99, always-on, always-connected HD mobile Internet device (MID) that it claims can go days between battery charges.

Gigabyte to buy back 10 million shares
Motherboard maker Gigabyte Technology has announced that the company will buy back 10 million shares at a price ranging from NT$9.73-18.86 (US$0.28-0.55) proceed from February 17 until April 15, according to a company filing with the Taiwan Stock Exchange (TSE). The maximum purchasing budget will not exceed NT$11.83 billion.

Intel recently began offering its partners a discount bundle deal including a Core i7 CPU and solid state drive (SSD) hoping to increase demand of the two product lines and to clear stockpiled inventory.

Taiwan economy to shrink almost 3% in 2009, says government agency
Taiwan's economy will contract by 2.97% in 2009 compared to a mere 0.12% growth in 2008, according to the latest estimate by Taiwan's Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS). The island's economy shrank 8.36% in the fourth quarter of 2008, the largest decline ever for a quarter, the government agency said.

Asustek announces its first-ever capital reduction. Asustek Computer has announced plans to reduce its capital by buying back 60 million shares at a price interval between NT$23-48 (US$0.66-1.38) which will later be voided.

TSMC to cut foundry service prices by 10-15%, say sources. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) has decided to lower foundry prices by 10-15% for some large-volume orders placed by its major clients, according to market sources. The move is aimed at boosting its utilization rate, which has dropped sharply due to customers' cautious approaches to dealing with the difficult times, the sources commented.

MSI to shift to own-brand focus in 2009. Taiwan-based motherboard maker Micro-Star International (MSI) has set 2009 as its initial year of shifting business focus from ODM/OEM to OBM (own-brand manufacturer), and expects own-brand sales to account for 65% of its consolidated revenues for the year, according to company chairman Joseph Hsu.

Taiwan accounts for more than 25% of Intel revenues in 2008. While Intel's sales were flat in 2008, Taiwan was one of the few geographic regions where sales increased. According to the chipmaker's recently released annual report, revenues from Taiwan increased about 15% in 2008 to US$9.9 billion, while the company's overall sales of US$37.6 billion were down a slight 2%. Leading the way in terms of sales growth in 2008 for all geographic regions was the Americas (outside of the US), where sales were up 16.5%. Japan was the only other sales region that saw growth in 2008, at a slight 1.5%.

Semiconductor industry will not recover until 2012, says TSMC chairman. The global semiconductor industry will likely experience negative growth in 2009, but will start to rebound at an annual growth rate of 4-5% from next year, according to Morris Chang, chairman of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC). The industry-wide downturn will decelerate the sector's growth until 2012 when total revenues will resume to meet 2008 levels.

Semiconductor sales to drop 20% in 2009, In-Stat says. The global recession will wreak havoc on semiconductor sales this year, according to the research firm In-Stat. Worldwide semiconductor revenues will decline by nearly 20% in 2009 to US$199.2 billion, and the industry will not recover to 2007 levels until at least 2012.

Intel plans to launch two new ultra low voltage (ULV) CPUs by the end of March this year mainly targeting the company's consumer ultra low voltage (CULV) platform for ultra-thin notebook products, according to sources at notebook makers.

Worldwide semiconductor revenues on pace to decline 24% in 2009, says Gartner. The impact of the financial crisis will result in the semiconductor industry experiencing near record revenue declines in 2009, according to Gartner. Worldwide semiconductor revenues are forecast to reach US$194.5 billion in 2009, a 24.1% decline from 2008 revenues.

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