Branded computers see market in Cebu

By JADE LOPEZ, Reporter

AS technology becomes an important tool for business transaction or for home-use, the personal computer (PC) market in Cebu has slowly shifted from the white box to the branded market, industry officials said.

“More and more people are thinking that the premium is worth it,” said Chin-Teik See, Hewlett-Packard (HP) personal systems group general manager and vice-president for Southeast Asia and Taiwan.

Ng Khai Development Corp. President Wilson Ng reaffirmed that as Cebu becomes economically progressive even amid the global financial crisis, more have started to look at products that are more reliable and secure.

“The new trend is that people are buying more branded computers rather than those assembled ones,” said Ng in an interview.

“While there is still a market for the white box PCs, Cebuanos have learned to appreciate the benefits of spending extra money for branded units since it already contains license software and additional features,” he added.

However, See noted the white box market continues to dominate the Philippines’ PC industry accounting for 80 percent. He added, though, “the demand for branded PCs has grown.”

He added HP Philippines, through extending its product line offering more affordable PCs, targets to increase the branded PC market in the country to 50 percent, similar to other Asian countries.

See said HP Philippines is also determined to increase PC penetration in the country which is currently at four percent. Apart from reducing its PC cost, the company will also push for PC literacy.

“We look at the glass as half full. There’s still 96 percent opportunity to grow our market here,” he said.

According to See, the affordability of their products has become a magnet especially among the call center companies.

In their visits with call centers both in Manila and Cebu, HP Philippines has been getting inquiries for additional purchase of PCs and notebooks, among others, since many call center firms are continuing to expand despite the cisis, he said.

See said that with HP becoming the biggest supplier in the country’s PC market, he is confident the Asia Pacific region will grow in revenue size due to the bullishness of the market here.

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