AI the new focus at Commart IT event

AI the new focus at Commart IT event

TECH
AI the new focus at Commart IT event
People shop for computers and gadgets at Commart Comtech 2024, which runs from Thursday to Sunday at Bitec.‚ÄČ(Photo: Varuth Hirunyatheb)

The arrival of artificial intelligence (AI)-empowered computers should trigger demand among early adopters at the latest Commart Comtech IT event, stimulating consumer spending after a slowdown in the first two months, says the event organiser and IT product retailers.

Pornchai Jantarasupasang, deputy general manager of Arip, the organiser of the Commart event, said this is the first time AI-equipped PCs have taken centre stage at the fair.

He said many new notebook models are equipped with AI chips and hybrid-core processors.

The event started on Thursday at Bitec Bangna and continues through Sunday.

Asus, Acer, MSi, Lenovo and HP have already launched AI-equipped computers in Thailand and some of the products are available at the event.

Other highlights include technologies exhibited at the 2024 CES trade show in Las Vegas, such as the Thermaltake's Hydrangea computer.

"We expect sales revenue of 3 billion baht, the same as the previous event," said Mr Pornchai.

Somyot Chaowalit, chief executive of JIB Computer Group Co, said computer purchases the first two months this year contracted 5% year-on-year, in line with the subdued economy, despite the government's Easy E-Receipt scheme to stimulate consumer spending.

The scheme offers tax rebates of up to 50,000 baht to Thais who are not eligible for the digital wallet handout. The scheme ran from Jan 1 to Feb 15.

Without the scheme, the PC market slump would have been greater, said Mr Somyot.

He said several brands launched AI-equipped PCs at Commart to woo early adopters, with prices slightly exceeding 30,000 baht.

More brands are expected to launch AI-equipped PCs in the second half of this year, said Mr Somyot.

Some PC makers are offering discounts of around 10% on all their products at Commart to encourage purchases. Such a discount could equal savings of 6,000-10,000 baht when purchasing a high-end PC, he said.

JIB believes gaming PCs will remain the best-selling product category as gamers need to upgrade their components and often purchase replacements within a two-year cycle.

The replacement cycle for regular PCs is 3-4 years, said Mr Somyot.

JIB expanded its booth space at Commart this year as one of its rivals eschewed the event.

JIB is demonstrating products for corporate users for the first time at the event, such as a meeting room solution.

Kasame Srilertchaipanij, vice-president for marketing at IT City Plc, said demand for PCs has declined in line with the economy, but AI chips for PCs such as the AI-enabled Intel Core Ultra processors would help create AI use cases, while the AI capability in graphics cards would empower high-performance desktop PCs.

He said AI-powered notebook models are priced at more than 25,000 baht.

The majority of PCs, which have an average price of between 15,000-20,000 baht, should be less affected by the slowing economy, said Mr Kasame.

The products under pressure are notebooks and desktop PCs costing more than 40,000 baht, he said.

The market for gaming PCs continues to grow and the proportion of female gamers has risen to 30%, said Mr Kasame, leading to the creation of more customised PCs that feature fashion/lifestyle gaming accessories and a computer case.

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