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New Market Trends in IT
Nearly 250 exhibitors came from around the world to put their new technologies and products on show at the recent Suzhou Electronic Exposition. All the latest trends in Information Technology were there.

Demand Grows for LCD


After last year’s market volatility, sales of LCD products (liquid crystal display) are now rising steadily.


A BenQ Company salesperson discussing the personal computer market, said that some suppliers have now dropped their prices below 3,000 yuan (about US$363) for a 15-inch flat screen LCD monitor which would have been say 4,000 yuan (about US$484) just a few short months ago.


Such deep price-cutting coupled with technological advances is helping to promote uptake of LCD technology with its energy efficiency and benefits to environmental protection. At the start of this year, those in the know were predicting an 8 percent market share for LCD, up 2 percent on last year. Already they have had to revise their estimates upwards and are now talking in terms of 10 percent.


Sales personnel at Asus, another famous brand name from Taiwan, are even more optimistic. Pointing out that LCD is now taking 20 percent of the market in East China, they are of the view that 25 percent could be achieved as early as the end of this year.


The Lijing Group, a hi-tech enterprise based in Taiwan had a range of LCDs on display from 6.4 through 15 inches. They are intended for airplane, train and bus applications. Although these products are not yet available on the mainland, manufacturers have recognized their potential.


Everyone Wants to Go Digital


A need to update technologies and rising demand are the main driving forces in today’s digital products’ market.


Japan’s Epson and Fuji Film had “print image matching” on display. Thought to be a breakthrough in the digital world, this technology allows images to be shown on the digital camera itself rather than having to rely on a separate computer. Now that the new products have been shown to the public it is expected that they will soon become available to shoppers on the high street.


There was also an excellent show of products from domestic enterprises.


The Suzhou BenQ Company attracted much attention with its fashionable digital camera. At 85 by 40 mm it is so small that it actually looks like a cigarette lighter. The camera connects to a computer via its USB (universal serial bus) port. This is the same port that accepts Suzhou BenQ’s new Mp3 player for downloading or uploading music.


The Suzhou Peacock Electronics Co., Ltd. was there with its new “digital-guide.” This new digital recorder uses DSP (digital signal processing) technology. It acts as a speaking guide for visitors to cultural spots, museums and the like.


The first “three in one” wireless palm-top computer in the world attracted the attention of many visitors to the exposition. Developed by the Taiwan Shenhu Technological Co. Ltd, it features data transfer, Video-on-Demand (VOD) and a Personal Digital Assistant (PDA). You could have all three functions in your hands for about 5,000 yuan (about US$605).


An IT summit was held alongside the exposition. Xu Juyan, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering and an advisor to the China Huajing Electronics Group Corporation spoke of an expectation that digital products would be the next best-seller to follow in the electronic footsteps of color TV and program-controlled exchanges.


Smarter ‘Phones’


The once bright star of the fixed-line telephone sector may now seem eclipsed by the giant shadow of the mobile phone. But will it stage a comeback with new “Home E” technology?


To be introduced this year, “Home E” will enable fixed-line telephone users to send short text message and to subscribe to news or foreign exchange information services. Of course to access these facilities, consumers will need a new telephone. Currently there are two suppliers, the BBK Electronics Corp., Ltd. of south China’s Guangdong Province and the Hanwang Technology Co., Ltd. of Beijing.

 
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