Taiwan's four major notebook ODMs - Quanta Computer, Compal Electronics, Wistron and Inventec - have reported better-than-expected revenues in January despite declines in notebook shipments, thanks to their efforts in intensifying deployments in non-PC segments.
The ODMs have been actively diversifying into other product lines such as servers, tablets and wearable devices to counter the slackened sales growth for notebooks, with Quanta seeing its revenue ratio for notebooks falling under 70%, Wistron and Inventec both under 50% and Compal also actively boosting non-notebook revenue ratios.
In January, Quanta scored 2.8 million units in notebook shipments, down 15.15% on month, but its revenues for the month showed a sequential decline of only 2.3% to reach NT$84.784 billion (US$2.89 billion), with the smaller revenue decline mainly bolstered by robust shipments of servers in the month.
As the world's largest supplier of white-box servers, Quanta expects its server shipments to see a double-digit growth in 2018 to meet strong demand by cloud datacenter service providers.
Compal reported revenues of NT$59.795 billion for January, down 20% sequentially but up 16.6% on year. The company shipped 2.2 million units of notebooks, AIO PCs and desktops in the month, almost the same as one year earlier. But its January revenues showed a double-digit annual rise, due partly to its entry into the supply chain of Apple Watch in the second half of 2017.
Compal's non-PC revenues to surge to 35%
Compal chairman Rock Hsu said that the Compal group has scored annual revenues of over NT$1 trillion, with 68% contributed by PCs in 2017, down from over 70% in preceding years. He predicted revenues from non-PC segments to surge from 32% in 2017 to 35% in 2018, when shipments of tablets, smartphones, wearable devices and AI products are estimated to swell to 51 million from 40 million units in 2017.
Wistron raked in revenues of NT$79.401 billion in January, falling 3.74% on month but shooting up 45.18% on year, with the impressive on-year revenue growth mainly driven by contract production orders from Apple for iPhone 8 Plus. In the month, the company's notebook shipments reached 1.2 million units, for a sharp monthly decline of 400,000 units and an annual contraction of 100,000 units. The firm's shipments of LCD monitors amounted to 450,000 units in the month, down 50,000 units both sequentially and on-year. Its desktop shipments stood at 1.1 million units, down 300,000 units on month but up 300,000 units on year.
Inventec saw its revenues surge 20.36% on year to NT$36.435 billion for January, with the growth mainly driven by strong server shipments and the firm starting to deliver HomePod devices to Apple in the month. The company's notebook shipments showed an on-month decrease of 500,000 units to 1.2 million units in January.