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Sub-prime 'woes' infect world’s laptop market

So why is outlook unchanged?

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The world’s economy may be going down the pan, but PC sales are holding up pretty well. In Q2, demand from BRIC – Brazil, Russia, India and China - held firm, while fire sales in the US fuelled big shipments.

Everywhere, people want laptops. Especially Small Cheap Computers. How long can this last? The big Taiwanese laptop maker Compal is expressing caution – but not enough yet to trim ambitious shipment targets.

In an interview with Taiwan’s The Economic Daily News, Compal boss Ray Chen said “the subprime woes have caused an impact on global demand for laptops” (thanks to Reuters for the translation). Over at Quanta, Taiwan’s other big laptop supplier, vice chairman C.C. Leung is ready to sound the alarm, “if the global economy deteriorates”. But the company says it remains on course to hit its 2008 shipment forecast of 40 million laptops.

These guys make laptops for just about all the big name PC makers, so their views are worth listening to. But the global economy is indeed deteriorating. So how are their shipments are immune from this?

The emerging economies will have to become a lot more emergent, and quickly, if they are to compensate fully for the inevitable downturn in demand from the West. ®

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