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Taiwanese manufacturers facing industrial transformation: IBM

2011/06/16 23:02:03

Taipei, June 16 (CNA) IBM said Thursday that software services will drive the next wave of growth for Taiwanese hardware makers in a market led by cloud services from Apple Inc. and Google Inc.

A company official made the remarks during a celebration of the U.S.-based tech giant's 100th founding anniversary, making it the only technology firm in the world to have reached such a milestone.

Edward Yu, general manager of IBM Taiwan, said that during the past century, the company has successfully transformed from a pure manufacturer to a technology firm offering high-value services, which can be a role model for Taiwan's leading hardware makers.

"Taiwan's hardware manufacturing ability is among the top level of the world. But as the profit of most original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and original design manufacturers (ODMs) has become thinner in recent years, these firms should add more value to their products," Yu said.

The software applications for cloud computing technology, such as new services recently introduced by Google and Apple, will become the key drivers for such growth, he said.

Last month, Google announced at Computex Taipei that its web-centric "Chromebook" laptop PC will be available for rental to the business market with a monthly rent of US$28 (NT$811) per user, while its monthly rental price in the educational market will be just US$20 per user. The newly unveiled device provides users with faster and easier access to applications like e-mail and spreadsheets directly on the web instead of having to store them on computers.

On June 6, Apple launched its "iCloud" music-streaming service at its Worldwide Developers' Conference. The service allows users play their music and get access to their data from any Apple device. It is a crucial capability for users increasingly accustomed to doing things outside their homes.

Yu noted that Taiwan is one of the 140 countries in IBM's "Growth Markets Unit," which accounted for 21 percent of IBM's global revenue in 2010.

IBM expects the unit to contribute 30 percent of the company's global revenue in 2015, as the change of business models in the category will bring more business opportunities, Yu said.

(By Jeffrey Wu)