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Deutsche Bank upbeat for Sept. notebook shipments

TAIPEI -- The top five contract laptop makers will post higher monthly shipment growth figures in September prior to the release of Microsoft Corp.'s new Windows 8 operating system, Germany's Deutsche Bank AG said recently in a note to clients.

The top five notebook original design manufacturers (ODMs) are all Taiwanese companies — Quanta Computer Inc., Compal Electronics Inc., Wistron Corp., Pegatron Corp. and Inventec Corp.

Deutsche Bank said notebook shipments by the five firms might grow by 30 percent month-on-month in September on inventory refill before the Oct. 26 launch of touch-friendly Windows 8 notebooks.

However, a survey carried out by the bank also showed that notebook orders will remain weak in the fourth quarter, as it might take time for consumers to accept the new Windows 8 products.

“We take the view that the Windows 8 notebook launch could lead to stabilized notebook volume, although it might not reverse the muted notebook growth trend in the industry,” Ivy Lee, a Deutsche Bank analyst in Taipei, said in the note dated Sept. 27.

For Asian notebook PC makers, Lee said Taiwan's Asustek Computer Inc. and China's Lenovo Group could continuously outgrow the market in the third quarter on the back of market share gains and new product launches.

She predicted that the third-quarter sales of Asustek and Lenovo will increase by 12 percent and 8 percent, respectively, from the second quarter, while Taiwanese maker Acer Inc.'s sales will decline 2 percent sequentially due to a product transition period.

Separately, U.S. brokerage Morgan Stanley revised upward its forecast for monthly shipment growth in September of the top five notebook ODMs' to 26 percent, or 14.9 million units.

The upward revision was attributed to better inventory restocking for Windows 8 models and China's “golden week” holiday in early October, the brokerage said in a report.

Morgan Stanley said the strength of Windows 8 notebook shipments to distributors should be sustained in September and October, but added that a better picture of the retail conditions for the new products might not be noticeable until November.

The brokerage forecast that the top five ODMs' notebook shipments during the July-September period will dip 2 percent from the second quarter to 39 million units, compared with its prior estimate of a 3 percent drop.

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