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Taiwan's notebook manufacturers are sticking to their predictions of high, double-figure growth in shipments for 2001 despite the dip in demand for desktop PCs.

Taiwan produces the vast majority of the world's portable PCs, supplying not only 'no name' system builders but major players like Toshiba, Sony, Dell, IBM, Compaq and Apple.

According to Taiwanese business paper the Commercial Times, growth estimates from the territory's vendors range from 30 per cent to 50 per cent.

Quanta, for example, which makes notebooks for Gateway, Dell, IBM, Apple, reckons it will ship between 3.8 million and 4.1 million notebooks this year, an increase of between 40 and 50 per cent on last year's 2.7 million shipments. Compal (supplier by appointment to Dell and Hewlett-Packard) expects a similar rise, for shipments of 2.6-2.9 million units.

First International (NEC and Packard Bell) and Arima (Compaq) are both anticipated 30 per cent growth, the paper said.

The vendors' latest predictions remain largely unchanged from their outlook on the market last autumn. However, others are less convinced of such a positive 2001. Taiwan's Institute for Information Industry, for one, believes that notebook shipments won't increase by more than 23 per cent.

And even the vendors admit that their profit margins will fall, dropping below ten per cent, claimed CT, as demand growths and competition hits prices. ®

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