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Apple may seek help to meet iMac demand

Vendors' supply issues get third-parties sniffing out opportunities

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Apple is believed to be considering outsourcing iMac production following the huge demand for the new consumer-oriented computer, according to Eugene Sapp, president of COO of SCI Systems, one of the world's largest contract manufacturers. Speaking at a NationsBanc Montgomery Securities investment conference in San Francisco, and reported on the US newswires, Sapp alleged that Apple is examining the possibility of signing up other manufacturers because demand for the iMac has outstripped Apple's ability to supply it. "The iMac is exceeding expectations. It looks like we may be bringing in some of that product," Sapp said. "[The iMac] seems to be putting a strain on [Apple's] manufacturing capacity." Certainly, an inability to build enough units has hit Apple hard in the past, with many new models attracting too many customers for the vendor to supply. Numerous reports of iMac failures suggest that Apple's round-the-clock programme of punching out the new machine may already be pushing too hard, though Apple seems to be experience no more failurers than any new machine might be expected to generate. SCI has produced Macs for Apple in the past. Indeed, its Fountain, Colorado plant was bought from Apple two years ago when the Mac-maker sold the facility as part of its measures to get back on track financially. ®

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