South-east Asia will produce half of the world’s notebook personal computers in 2030, a Taiwanese government think-tank predicts, with Vietnam and Thailand pegged as the main manufacturing hubs.
The region will displace China as the centre of notebook PC production, according to the Market Intelligence & Consulting Institute. China’s rising labour costs and the desire to mitigate overdependence on a single region are expected to drive the shift to south-east Asia.
The global notebook PC market stood at 160m units last year. China is responsible for 90 per cent of the output, with most of its manufacturing overseen by Taiwanese companies, while south-east Asia handles just a slim fraction of the production.
Through interviews with manufacturers, MIC found that China’s share of notebook PC production would be reduced from 90 per cent to 40 per cent by 2030. Major Taiwanese contract manufacturer Wistron, for example, will produce notebook PCs on behalf of US brands in Vietnam.
Among other Taiwanese peers, Compal Electronics is considering building output capacity in Vietnam, while Quanta Computer, the world’s third-largest contract manufacturer, is expected to produce notebook PCs in Thailand.
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Hon Hai Precision Industry, known as Foxconn and the world’s biggest contract electronic manufacturer, may launch notebook PC production in Vietnam.
Notebook PC deliveries are expected to climb 6 per cent this year to 170m units. The coronavirus pandemic has fuelled the rise in telecommuting and distance learning, and lifted demand for Chromebooks, which run on Google’s operating system.
China’s Lenovo Group, HP in the US and Taiwan’s Asustek Computer have released their own Chromebooks, which sell for a few hundred dollars. Most of those models are produced on contract by Taiwanese firms.
A version of this article was first published by Nikkei Asia on September 26 2020. ©2020 Nikkei Inc. All rights reserved