In the Lap of China
Mainland China will be the source of over 50 percent of the estimated 47 million notebook computers that will be manufactured worldwide in 2004. Most of the supply is dominated by Taiwan-invested companies that manufacture such leading brands as Dell, Fujitsu-Siemens, HP, Sony and Toshiba, as well as retailers like Wal-Mart.
There are over 30 suppliers of notebook PCs in mainland China and Taiwan. Mainland-based makers, numbering around 15, have manufacturing experience in desktop PCs and rely on Taiwan partners for notebook PC production. Many mainland suppliers find the $2 million start-up for a notebook PC assembly line too steep. However, many makers have begun building R&D centers to hone expertise in the line. The primary market for these makers will be domestic. Some level of export activity is foreseen, however, in 2005.
Lenovo, which sold 193,000 units in 2003 leads mainland China's pack of homegrown notebook PC vendors.