Laptop PC sales hit records in June after Santa Rosa lull

Market surges after wait for the new Intel chips

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Laptop PC shipments by two of the world's largest contract makers surged in June, rebounding from a lull in April and part of May as system makers awaited the launch of Intel Corp.'s Santa Rosa laptop chips, an upgrade to its popular Centrino package.

Quanta Computer Inc. said it shipped 2.8 million laptops in June, up sharply from 2.4 million in May and 2.2 million in April. Taiwanese rival Compal Electronics Inc. shipped 1.77 million laptops in June, its third-highest figure for a single month, and up from 1.65 million in May and 1.70 million in April.

The stronger shipments show the laptop market has surged again after system makers and users awaited the new Intel chips. Market researchers had expected users to upgrade to new laptop PCs after the launch of Santa Rosa, when they could pick up the latest laptop PC hardware along with the Windows Vista OS.

Intel launched its fourth-generation Centrino wireless chip package on May 9, abandoning the Santa Rosa code name in favor of its marketing names, Centrino Duo and Centrino Pro.

The package of chips increases wireless Internet and processing speeds in notebook PCs when compared to the previous Intel Centrino package.

The Duo and Pro versions both come with Intel dual-core microprocessors, but the Centrino Pro is targeted at laptops for business users. It carries Intel vPro software, which helps corporate IT departments manage fleets of laptop PCs.

At the time, Intel said it expected more than 230 new laptop and desktop PCs to be built around the new chip package this year.

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