PC makers scent school opportunity [Bangkok Post, Thailand :: ]
(Bangkok Post (Thailand) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) June 23--Global personal computer makers are rushing to put out their advanced technology to accommodate the smart classroom initiative in a drive to capitalise on a 6.97-billion baht market opportunity.
The smart classroom initiative has been raised after the junta ordered the Education Ministry to scrap the Pheu Thai Party's One Tablet per Child project.
The Office of the Basic Education Commission, which is one of the biggest spenders among 10 education agencies, has confirmed plans to replace the project with smart classrooms that will be equipped with interactive computer software installed in 31,000 schools within two years.
Research and Markets, an international market research firm, forecasts the global smart classroom market will grow at a compound growth rate of 31.3% from 2013-18, thanks to the increased market for interactive display instruments.
Jarit Sidhu, senior market analyst at IDC Thailand, a global research firm, said the smart classroom procurement would stimulate the local IT market next year, as PC makers had more opportunity to sell their technology solutions replacing Chinese-made low-cost tablets.
IDC believes the local PC market will rebound to positive growth of up to 5% by next year due to education-related projects and an increase in consumer confidence including new PC replacement.
For this year, IDC forecasts that the local PC market will contract 15% from 3 million units last year due to the slowdown in the first half as the prolonged political crisis took its toll on the economy.
Mr Jarit added that Thailand's PC market is no longer expected to post double digit growth with PC penetration at over 30% and PC users often experiencing a longer lifespan of the products.
Jeerawut Wongpimonporn, Lenovo Thailand country manager, said the company had been contacted by companies in the United States and Australia to provide smart classroom tools for Thailand's schools.
Nitipat Praweenwongwuthi, senior marketing director of Acer Thailand, added that the company is seeking to provide smart classroom solutions as one of its potentially biggest markets to offset the decline in the consumer PC market.
He added that the consumer IT market is now focused on tablets, smartphones and wearable devices.
Acer will introduce its first smartband, called Liquid Leap, in Thailand in August.
Jeff Lo, AsusTek Thailand country manager, said the smart classroom project is a big project and the company is eager to seize this opportunity.
(c)2014 the Bangkok Post (Bangkok, Thailand)
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