Thu, Aug 16, 2007 - Page 11 News List

Quanta says production delayed by parts shortage

SIZE MATTERS Makers of branded computers have historically negotiated directly with suppliers before hiring firms such as Quanta to produce their products

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Quanta Computer Inc (廣達電腦), the world's largest maker of notebook computers, said a supply shortage of laptop components including processors and batteries has caused "minor delays" in the company's production.

Output has been delayed by "a couple of days" as delivery of some parts is "a little tight," chief financial officer Tim Li (李杜榮) said in a telephone interview yesterday.

The shortage "isn't significant, and the situation will probably become more healthy," he said.

Quanta is based in Taoyuan.

Shortages typically occur in the third quarter as suppliers prepare for the Christmas season. Chips made by Intel Corp and Intersil Corp, which regulate power control, are among the parts in short supply, said Chang Chih-ming (張志銘), head of investor relations at Quanta's rival Compal Electronics Inc (仁寶電腦).

"It's a normal seasonal issue in the industry," said Vincent Chen (陳豊丰), a Taipei-based analyst for CLSA Ltd. "Suppliers may try to raise prices for smaller customers to take advantage of the situation."

The shortages will probably not affect companies such as Hewlett-Packard Co and Dell Inc as they have long-term supply contracts, Compal's Chang said. Smaller notebook makers without such contracts are the most likely to be affected, he said. He declined to elaborate on the kind of contracts Compal has signed with suppliers.

Makers of branded computers such as Hewlett-Packard, the world's largest PC maker, have historically negotiated directly with suppliers such as Intel, the world's largest semiconductor maker, before hiring companies such as Quanta and Compal to produce their products.

Acer Inc, the world's fourth-largest PC manufacturer, "hasn't noticed any parts shortage," company spokesman Henry Wang (汪島雄) said.

Joyce Chou, spokeswoman for Wistron Corp (緯創), the world's third-largest notebook maker after Quanta and Compal, declined to comment.

Mark Miller and Shardae Chiu, spokespeople for Intel in Hong Kong and Taipei, respectively, did not answer calls to their office and mobile numbers. Intel is based in Santa Clara, California.

"It's a small problem at Simplo but the battery industry faces a bigger problem," said Lisa Chou (周麗滿), a spokeswoman for Hsinchu-based Simplo Technology Co (新普科技), the world's largest maker of batteries used in notebooks.

Battery producers remain affected by earlier recalls from customers such as Sony Corp, she said.

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