Compaq now a victim of anti-Dell move to Taiwan

It struck a huge deal back in June but acts of god intervene

Earlier this year, we reported that Compaq had revisited all of its relationships with its Taiwanese OEMs and had struck hard deals in a bid to compete successfully with Dell and its direct doings. It's a surprisingly little known fact that boxes sold by many of the big PC manufacturers are mostly built using components which come from Taiwanese manufacturers. In the old days (five years ago), many of the parts were built on the small island itself, but latterly have been outsourced to mainland China, where the average salary of a PC worker is $30 a month. But the deal which Compaq struck, which looked like it might be a good one, has come back to haunt an already haunted firm. According to the Wall Street Journal, Compaq, like HP and Dell before it, has now acknowledged the recent earthquake on the island will have an affect on its ability to supply the lucrative Yule market. Although Compaq says the difficulties will cause only spot delays, it is more bad news for Ben Rosen's firm. Insiders tell The Register that its next set of results, due out in two or three weeks or so, will not show much of a turn round. Of course, it is not just the Big Q which is having PC troubles. Both Dell and HP have said they will be affected by similar problems. And, almost unnoticed, Big Blue said last weekend that it was axing a large number of jobs in its PC division. Many of these firms have all their PC eggs in a Taiwanese basket, when just across the water, mainland China continues to rattle its sabres. A few years back, Her Brittanic Majesty Queen Elizabeth II complained that she had an annus horribilis. Just what is it about soccer teams, royalty and computer firms that makes them liable to such cruel twists of fate? It can't just be bad management, but we are loath to accept the astrological explanation... ® See also Quake ripples affect HP, Dell Compaq silence deafens everything

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