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Quanta to beat Toshiba as lead notebook maker

Strong portable PC sales and having Compaq, Dell, IBM, HP on client list helps

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Taiwanese notebook maker Quanta reckons it will become the world's biggest producer of portable PCs this year, beating market leader Toshiba to the top of the totem pole.

As regular Register readers will know, Quanta and a handful of other Taiwanese notebook manufacturers make almost all of the world's portable computers. Buy an Dell, buy an Apple, buy a Compaq, buy a Sony - and you're buying a computer built by Quanta or one of its rivals.

Quanta produces notebooks for Apple, Compaq, Dell, IBM, Hewlett-Packard and Gateway. Apple's consumer-oriented notebooks are made by AlphaTop. First International, meanwhile, does contract work for NEC. Some of Compaq's notebooks are made by Arima. Not that many of the top-tier vendors admit the fact.

In the case of the top-tier vendors, the manufacturers simply build systems to the vendors' design and specifications. Quanta and co. also make generic machines that are rebranded by second and third-tier PC suppliers. Which is, of course, why they all look the same.

Quanta's claim is based on its sales to date. In the first quarter of the year, Quanta shipped 855,000 notebooks, generating NT$26.4 billion ($765.86 million) in sales. Those figures mark 40 per cent unit growth and 60 per cent sales growth, year on year, according to Taiwan's Economic News.

Quanta expects shipments this quarter to total 1.15 million units, which shoul amount to $NT29 billion ($841.29 million) in sales.

Based on orders the company hopes to win during the second half of the year, Quanta expects to have shipped 4,188,000 notebooks by the end of 2001. That, it claims, will put it ahead of Toshiba on volume. ®

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