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FIC shifts focus to mobile phones

Let's hope they don't have a wooden heart

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Taiwanese firm FIC (First International Corp) is to move into producing mobile phones, according to reports from the island.

The firm, which is a major supplier of motherboards to PC manufacturers -- Compaq is one of its biggest customers -- is to plunge $64 million (NT$ 2 billion) into a project that will see the first mobiles exported next year.

We reported from Taiwan in June that Kurt Stromhell, Ericcsson's acharismatic CEO, was seeking the aid of manufacturers on the island to make phones, so departing from the firm's usual stance.

Stromhell said then: "There's a very strong surge in the number of phones manufactured and we need many more models in our portfolio. Taiwan is a very attractive place to acquire models to complete our portfolio. We have changed our previous policy of manufacturing everything in-house."

FIC, which also demonstrated a Transmeta PDA during the Computex trade fair in the same month, realises that there's not much margin in the old motherboard business and wants to be one of the first off the mobile phone starting block.

But let's hope that the devices it shows us over the next year or so are not made from the same material as its Transmeta machine, which had all the vitality of dead wood when we picked it up, even though, according to a representative on its stand, this was a special type of wood and it had cost FIC US $4,000 to make its two dummies... ®

See Also

Ericsson's Stromhell seeks Taiwan band aid
FICkle finger points to Transmeta fête
Some of our Taiwan Computex coverage

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