Inventec to make laptop computers for China’s Xiaomi

EXPANSION::Inventec said it is to start shipping wearable products for a new client next quarter, but did not confirm whether it is for Fitbit Inc

By Lauly Li  /  Staff reporter

Wed, Sep 23, 2015 - Page 13

Inventec Corp (英業達) chairman Richard Lee (李詩欽) yesterday confirmed the company is making Xiaomi Inc’s (小米) first notebook computer product in China, with shipments set to begin in the first half of next year.

“I am upbeat about the business outlook for Xiaomi’s notebook computers, as the firm has more than 200 million registered smartphone users,” Lee told reporters on the sidelines of the 12th cross-strait forum on technical standards for information technology held in New Taipei City.

Lee said Xiaomi is likely to adopt the same smartphone business strategy for its laptop products — which is different from other companies’ conventional way of selling servers, desktop and notebook computers.

“I am not sure if the smartphone approach will be applicable to notebooks, but I expect Xiaomi’s entry into the notebook industry to bring something new to the market,” Lee said.

Subsidiary Inventec Appliance Corp (英華達), which assembles Xiaomi’s smartphones, is to jointly design and manufacture the Chinese company’s first notebook products in Inventec’s plants in China, Lee said.

“We will start shipping Xiaomi’s notebook computers in the first or second quarter of next year,” he added.

Commenting on Inventec’s near-term business outlook, Lee said next quarter’s sales are likely to be flat or even decline from this quarter, because of few product launches by its clients.

“Given that some of Inventec’s clients are scheduled to launch new products at the end of next quarter, sales contributions from the new products will be limited next quarter, but should become significant next year,” he said.

Inventec president Huang Kuo-chun (黃國鈞) last month said that sales for this quarter would grow significantly from the second quarter’s NT$90.62 billion (US$2.75 billion), supported by growing orders for commercial notebooks, smart devices and servers.

Local media have reported that Inventec is joining the supply chain of US company Fitbit Inc’s wearable products as a joint design manufacturer.

Lee did not confirm or deny such speculation, but said the company would start shipping wearable products for a new client next quarter.

Overall, the company’s combined sales in the second half of this year would still be better than the NT$179.99 billion it made in the first half of this year, he said.

Inventec shares rose 1.2 percent to close at NT$16.90 in Taipei trading yesterday, outperforming the TAIEX, which edged up 0.71 percent.