Philippines seen as largest PC market in region

By Cheryl M. Arcibal – Taiwanese PC maker Micro-Star Int’l Co. Ltd. (MSI) considers the Philippines its biggest and most important market in the Southeast Asian region.

This is because the company considers the Philippines as its largest source of its sales in the region, Joseph Chen, MSI Southeast Asia sales manager, said.

“Besides the big population, Filipinos are getting more hooked to their computers,” he said, citing Filipinos’ purchasing power and their affinity to global technological trends.

On Thursday, the company launched the MSI X-Slim series, which it claims to be “irresistible, fashionable and affordable.”

To be available anytime within the quarter, the company is targeting to sell 10,000 to 15,000 units this year in the Philippines, Chen said.

A unit will cost P49,999.

Despite the anticipated lower remittances from Filipinos working abroad this year, Chen believes that Filipinos will still fork out cash to buy PCs.

“You have good buying power here. I think students and executives will still buy our product. The Philippines is a very mature market,” he said.

The Philippines, with about 89 million residents, is the second-largest country in the region in terms of population.

Although the country’s export sector has been severely hit by the weakening global trade, the Philippines is one of the few countries expected to post growth as consumption is seen to drive the economy, unlike peers in the region which mainly rely on exports to push economic expansion.

For the entire Southeast Asian region, he added that MSI is seeking to sell between 60,000 to 70,000 units of the “world’s lightest and slimmest 13-inch notebook.”

MSI X340 is six millimeter at its thinnest and 20 millimeter at its widest, weighing 1.3 kilograms with battery.

With the improving global economic condition, the company said that this is the best time to launch the latest offering from MSI.

Worldwide sales for the X-Slim series are expected to reach a million units this year.

He added that last year, MSI’s Wind Netbook has been very popular in the Philippines, with sales hitting between 30,000 units to 40,000 units while for all its products, MSI has sold between 60,000 units to 70,000 units.

“This is not a bad time [to launch our product]. Things are turning around. We expect modest growth this year,” Chen said.

Besides its “affordability”, MSI said that through is X-Slim series, it is making a fashion statement.

“The chic design of the X340 frees notebooks from the monotone. The X-Slim embraces a simple and modern design concept and meanwhile features the most advanced multimedia and power saving technologies,” said Iris Chuang, MSI product manager

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