Tatung to muscle into DVD burner market

Dec 25, 2003 Ι Industry In-Focus Ι Electronics and Computers Ι By Quincy, CENS
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Taipei, Dec. 25, 2003 (CENS)--Taiwan's Tatung Co. is scheduled to venture into the digital versatile disc (DVD) burner market by integrating its products with DVD players early next year and will not rule out seeking contract orders for DVD burner drives.

In line with the increased orders from such major contract customers as Hewlett-Packard Co. (HP), NEC and eMachines, Tatung has the chance to challenge an annual personal computer (PC) shipment volume of three million units this year, outstripping the company's original goal of 2.5 million units. Next year, the company eyes a 25% volume growth with added capacity from its new plant in Czech, which is scheduled to begin mass production early next year.

Starting as a maker of home appliances and heavy electrical machinery maker, Tatung has been actively transforming into an information technology product manufacturer in recent years. Last year, Tatung was the No. 4 PC assembler in Taiwan, trailing Hon Hai Precision Ind. Co. Ltd., MiTAC International Corp. and First International Computer Inc. (FIC)

Tatung claimed that it expected to record PC shipment volume as registered by the No. 3 FIC and its production value has been the third-highest among local counterparts.

As Tatung has fared smoothly in handling contract production for big international customers, Tatung executive vice president Wen K. Lin said that her company decided to set up a new PC assembly plant in Czech following the first European facility in Netherlands.

According to Lin, the scheduled Czech plant is expected to become one of Tatung's low-cost production citadels and global logistic bases to further strengthen Tatung's global competitiveness with its lower production costs than that of the Holland facility.

For notebook PC production, the company's chairman W.S. Lin said that his company "will never forget such business." He said Tatung devoted itself to the notebook PC production several years ago with an annual shipment volume of over 100,000 units but the business was suspended due to some reasons in the past few years. The chairman claimed that Tatung aims to regain a solid foothold in notebook PC business in line with its newly diversified tablet PC business.

In the coming few years, chairman Lin pointed out, the tablet PC models would account for one-third to one-fourth of the notebook PC market. Tatung would first concentrate on the tablet PC segment and try to find some strategic partners in developing notebook PC business.

Tatung shipped about 10,000 tablet PCs this year and the volume is expected to rise further next year. The company has also developed a dual-function tablet PC model with many notebook traits and functions.
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