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Taiwan quake sees PC vendors bin product launches

Component shortages start to make themselves known

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PC manufacturers have had to revise production and marketing plans for the Christmas rush because of a lack of components following the Taiwanese earthquake. NEC has shifted production to other sites and new product announcements from both Fujitsu and IBM have been put back. Taiwan is a key production centre for PCs and semiconductors, making about 80 per cent of the world's graphics chips as well as producing 40 per cent of the worldwide notebook market and 60 per cent of the motherboard market. The knock-on effects have already started with some experts predicting a 20 per cent slip in production by the end of the year. The earthquake has already caused DRAM prices to rise by 50 per cent. If other components end up in short supply, PC manufacturers will have to decide whether to soak up the extra cost or pass it on to the consumer. ®

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