Notebook News: Apple in Japan, Notebook Prices Rise, Laptop Demand to Fall?, ATI

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Apple to Open Second Japan Retail Store in Osaka, London England Next

Computer and consumer electronics maker Apple will be opening its second retail store in Japan.  This store will be located in Shinsaibashi, Osaka.  The doors will open on August 28 and the first 1500 people to walk through those doors get a free Apple T-shirt.  If, as I assume, you live in an English speaking country and are reading this then I wouldn’t recommend going all that way to gamble on getting a free T-shirt.  Any Brits reading this?  Your turn is next, Apple opens its 20,000 square foot London store during the Autumn.

more on this story from: Apple Japan website

Notebook Prices Rose in June and Not Expected to Fall Soon

Prices for notebook computers rose as retailers stocked laptops with updated features and designs ahead of the back-to-school shopping season, NPD Consumer Electronics Price Watch said.  The average price of a 15-inch screen notebook rose 1.9% to about $1,139.

Overall the price for a market basket of the 27 most popular electronics goods fell to $12,399 in June, down 1 percent from May and down 15.6 percent from a year earlier. However, devices such as notebook computers and portable DVD players went up in price.

Stephen Baker, an analyst with the NPD group said:

“(Kids say) ‘I have to have a notebook computer in school,’ or ‘I must have a music player for a dorm room.’ Those are things where you are not going to wait for a sale — you are going to get it when you need it.  Back-to-school season doesn’t tend to be as price sensitive as Christmas, so (retailers) are not looking to reduce prices as aggressively.”

Baker said back-to-school sales, along with an influx of pricier and more powerful models of devices, may make July prices also resistant to significant declines.

Notebook Demand Slipping for Second Half?

The world’s top two notebook PC manufacturers, Compal and Quanta, are turning more conservative on growth prospects for the sector this year, as increased price competition and uncertainties over demand in the second half take their toll.  Companies such as Dell and HP place orders for notebooks to these Original Design Manufacturers (ODM) in Taiwan and then resell those notebooks in the world market.  Orders from Dell and HP to these Taiwanese ODMs have recently dipped.

Compal CEO, Ray Chen, who had been bullish about growth for the notebook sector this year, trimmed his estimate for the global notebook market to 43 million to 44 million units from 47 million.

“When the second largest [notebook] maker in the world suddenly turns negative, it is a strongly negative sign with regards to the current uncertain outlook for [notebook] demand and sell through,” wrote Macquarie Securities analyst Dominic Grant in a research note to clients.

Intel Corp’s delay earlier this year of its next-generation notebook platform, codenamed Sonoma, has been partially blamed for dulling demand, leaving price cuts as one of the only key weapons for spurring sales.

more on this story from: Forbes.com

ATI Graphics Ships One Millionth PCI Express Graphics Card

ATI today shipped its one millionth native PCI Express visual processing unit (VPU), speeding the industry transition to PCI Express. ATI and its board partners continue to be the consumers’ only source for PCI Express visual processors.

ATI launched its full family of PCI Express graphics solutions on June 1 at COMPUTEX, including the RADEON(TM) X300, RADEON(TM) X600 and RADEON(TM) X800 for consumer and commercial customers and the FireGL(TM) V3100, FireGL(TM) V3200, FireGL(TM) V5100 and FireGL(TM) V7100 for professional customers. These graphics cards are currently shipping to OEM and system integrator customers worldwide.

“Since the outset of the PCI Express initiative, our aim was to deliver a top-to-bottom family of PCI Express graphics cards to our OEM customers, hastening the PCI Express transition,” said Rick Bergman, Senior Vice President Marketing and General Manager, Desktop, ATI Technologies. “PCI-E is a major innovation in the computer architecture and there is a rapid transition in the market to this bus standard. Our huge success in winning the OEM PCI Express business attests to the fact that our PCI Express products are robust, high-performing and are a cut above the rest.”

more on this story from the ATI Press Release

Dell Second Quarter Sales Good, HP Second Quarter Sales Bad

HP stunned the financial market by announcing it would fall far short of the expected earnings per share this week.  Meanwhile, Dell announced 20% stronger sales.  As the notebook market shifts towards more price competition it is expected Dell will make further gains as they are the strongest company when it comes to competing on price.

more on this story from NewsFactor


 

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