Compal, Inventec secure Toshiba notebook contracts

Dec 03, 2003 Ι Industry In-Focus Ι Electronics and Computers Ι By Ken, CENS
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Taipei, Dec. 3, 2003 (CENS)--Compal Electronics Inc. and Inventec Corp. have recently secured contracts from Toshiba for budget-type notebook computers for sales in 2004 to 2005.

The contracts are estimated to help boost Compal's shipment to Toshiba to two million systems and increase the corresponding figure for Inventec to 500,000 systems next year. In the latest contract, Toshiba consigned Compal to make 800,000 notebook computers. End-user computers are the major types Toshiba contracted Inventec to build this time, reversing the past contracts for enterprise-use models from the Taiwanese supplier.

Toshiba's decision on contract partners once caught attention from Taiwanese manufacturers, as Quanta Computer, currently the world's No. 1 supplier of built-to-order notebook computers, also joined the race to scramble for Toshiba's contract orders.

However, Toshiba chose Inventec and Compal over Quanta although Quanta has never stopped knocking at Toshiba's door. Quanta has been singed up to build notebook computers for all of the world's top 10 big-name suppliers except Toshiba.

People familiar with Toshiba pointed out that the Japanese supplier has been cautious about outsourcing contracts and has decided to limit outsourcing business at 20% of its total sales by the end of this year. They estimated Toshiba to boost such a ratio to over 30% next year amid the mounting threats from nearest rivals Hewlett-Packard (HP) and Dell Computer adopting low-pricing strategies.

Market watchers estimated Toshiba to sell 6.5 million notebook computers at most next year, up 30% from five million systems this year. Its nearest rival HP and Dell projected to sell eight million computers, respectively, next year.
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