Cluster of catalysts expected to tempt buyers at Commart
More advanced technology in the computer segment, the launch of the iPhone 12 lineup and the government's tax rebate "Shop and Payback" scheme are expected to be catalysts for IT sales at the Commart fair, say leading IT firms.
The positive trend for the IT segment can be expected to continue into next year.
"In this final quarter, 'Commart Xtreme' is upbeat as the exhibition space is fully booked," said Pornchai Jantarasupasang, deputy general manager of ARIP, the organiser of Commart, which runs from Thursday to Sunday.
The Commart held during the previous quarter saw a 20% drop in exhibition space, while the show held in March saw a decline of 30% because of the impact of the pandemic, he said.
The latest Commart should also receive a boost from the latest Gen11 processor technology, which has just been launched and is being used by leading computer manufacturers, as well as the roll-out of the iPhone 12 lineup, said Mr Pornchai.
The iPhone 12 lineup, which is 5G-compatible, is available in Thailand from today.
The range includes the iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max.
Mr Pornchai said the Shop and Payback scheme is also expected to shore up demand for IT products.
He said computer notebooks are expected to dominate sales at the event, possibly accounting for up to 60% of total sales.
Half of these sales are likely to come from gaming notebooks and the rest from thin and light laptops.
At the previous quarter's event, sales of thin and light notebooks were on a par with those of gaming laptops, driven by people working and studying from home.
Some 2.8 billion baht is likely to be generated at this Commart, down from 3 billion at the previous quarter's event, weighed down by economic and political woes that have eroded consumer sentiment, said Mr Pornchai.
At the previous event, sales of computers were helped by strong demand as there was a supply shortage.
Takon Niyomthai, head of business development for IT sales at Com7, a SET-listed IT retail chain, said Thailand's overall computer market is expected to be flat this year.
Despite strong demand for computers during the lockdown in May, sales slowed during September, he said.
Mr Takon agreed new advanced computer technology and the government's tax rebate programme would help drive demand in the market.
"The supply shortage should continue as production is yet to fully resume, but the situation is improving and production is expected to return to normal levels next year," he said.
The use of the Gen11 computer processor in some new notebook models has also led to a drop in prices for older models by 2,000-5,000 baht, which could in turn spur demand for these products.
"The presence of these latest products, including graphics cards that have better speed and frame rates, will be attractive to gamers," said Mr Takon.
"The MacBook, with a new M1 CPU, will also be another interesting choice for buyers."
Some new computer models also come with artificial intelligence technology for access control and security auto locks, as well as having longer battery life and faster internet connectivity with WiFi 6, he said.
The computer market in 2021 is likely to see a greater variety of slimmer notebook models in the thin and light category, with a thickness of about 17 millimetres, compared with previous models at 18-19 mm.
Mr Takon said the mainstream notebook products this year will cost 15,000-26,000 baht, which may account for up to 45% of the market share.
Entry-level notebooks, costing less than 15,000 baht, may account for 30-40% of market share, while the remainder would be premium models, costing over 26,000 baht.