Feeds

Sony to outsource notebooks to Taiwan

Or... how brands aren't really brands

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

High performance access to file storage

The IT powerhouse that is Taiwan is set to pick up elements of the Sony Vaio notebook line at the end of this year, in another coup for manufacturing on the island.

Not completely coincidentally, the Wall Street Journal has reported that Mosel Vitelic and Japanese company Sharp are to set up a joint venture in a new science park near Tainan, in the south of the island.

According to sources familiar with Sony's plans, large manufacturer Quanta is expected to pick up the deal. It is the largest notebook manufacturer on the island, churning out an estimated two million units last year, very few of them bearing Quanta's logo. Quanta is also an investor in Transmeta.

Other big notebook players in Taiwan are Compal and Arima, which each made just over one million units last year, and Inventec, with a similar number. There are estimated to be between 20 and 30 other notebook manufacturers on the island, with Acer and Twinhead (which bought ten per cent of Uniwill two weeks back) being the best known names.

Although the Taiwanese firms are justifiably proud of their contribution to notebook production, their customers - including big US brand names such as IBM, Compaq and Dell, and major Japanese players such as Toshiba and now Sony - don't like the world to know their dependence on Chinese manufacturing. Why? Search us.

What this means, is that when you wander around a trade show like Computex, you will see future notebook designs which eventually will transmute into ThinkPads, Armadas, Porteges and now, it appears, Viaos.

The parts which make up the ever-so-fragile notebooks are inherently more difficult to build than desktop parts, and also require more intensive research and development than desktops. For this reason, notebook manufacture is still largely a Taiwanese thing, although outsourcing to mainland China is just beginning to take place.

The manufacturing of desktop components is now firmly established on the mainland, with many of the large companies, such as FIC, Asustek, Abit and others doing assembly in a new science park specifically built so that more or less everything is there in one area. People working in assembly in mainland China may get as much as $30 a month for their labour.

Indeed, just a couple of days ago, Asustek bought Chinese firm Maintek Computers outright for $12 million, and said that its investments in the mainland amounted to around $760 million, with five factories churning out PC components.

Yesterday, the local Taiwanese press reported that the government was to ease restrictions on investment in the mainland. Both Morris Chang, CEO of TSMC and the brains behind Taiwan's semiconductor brawn, and Stan Shih, Acer's CEO, have been pushing for restrictions to be lifted for some years. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
It may be ILLEGAL to run Heartbleed health checks – IT lawyer
Do the right thing, earn up to 10 years in clink
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.