Niche laptop segments buck the overall declining trend of the mobile computing market in Taiwan: GfK

The 2-in-1 and gaming notebook segments saw combined demand spike by over threefold in first half of 2014

download (11) As the global notebook market continues to face  challenges from other more portable and connected  devices such as the smartphone and media tablets,  opportunities still exist for manufacturers in various  niche segments of this product. In Taiwan, the overall  8 percent decline in notebook sales volume did not  affect the fast rising popularity of gaming models as well as the 2-in-1 devices in the first six months of 2014 when compared with the same time period a year ago

“GfK insights revealed Taiwan’s notebook market size sliding in the single digit range for two consecutive years since 2012, and urgently needing a ‘spark’ to reignite the market,” highlighted Cindy Li, Managing Director for GfK in Taiwan. “These two segments, each with its own unique features, have been successful in injecting some excitement and managed to outperform the overall market.”

Generally, 2-in-1 notebooks are those with more than one form of appearance, be it the detachable or embedded slider keyboard. Although it has been in the market for some time already, sales were negligible until the launch of a range of budget models by the end of 2013. In the first half year of 2014, consumers in Taiwan spent USD 21 million on nearly 50,000 units of 2 in 1 notebooks, reflecting an exponential spike in sales volume over threefold compared to the first half of last year. Around 85 percent of all 2-in-1s sold were priced less than USD500. At its peak around end of last year and beginning of this year, 2-in-1’s made up 13 percent of all notebooks.

“2-in-1 devices are sought after for their combined advantages of productivity and entertainment, as well as its ability to integrate different operating systems (Android and Windows) into one device,” said Li. “They are also good for entry level users seeking substitutes for netbooks, which have already been phased out from the market.”

The share of high end notebook market, defined as models priced over USD1,000 has also grown significantly from 17 percent to 23 percent comparing sales volume of the first six months of this year with the same timeframe in 2013. More than 85,000units of high end notebooks were sold in the first half of this year, driven mostly by gaming notebooks and devices with GTX graphics card.

“Gaming notebook’s excellence hardware performance together with its high level of mobility make it an attractive package for discerning users and serious gamers,” said Li. “With OEM brands committing to devote even more resources into the development of gaming devices, this segment is anticipated to thrive further and will become a great support for the notebook market in 2014,” she concluded.

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