Quanta Computer Inc. began to ship high-end notebook PCs to Apple in March, while Alpha Top Corp. is scheduled to churn out iMac lines of notebook PCs in June.
Apple's iMac desktop computer has been a hit in the market ever since its debut last August, accounting for 20-30 percent of the company's total output in 1998, and helping to push Apple's share of the US desktop market up to 4.5 percent.
Steve Jobs, Apple's interim chief executive, said he will increase the output of iMacs to account for 50 percent of the company's total within three years in order to maximize profits. Yet, since Apple's production lines are already operating at full tilt, the company decided to outsource the output to Korean and Taiwan companies. Apple Computer has set up an international procurement office in Taiwan and increased its staff in Taiwan one-fold.
Korea's LG Electronics Inc. is now producing the monitors of iMac desktops, while Taiwan's Alpha Top won the contract for iMac notebooks. Market sources claim that the ultra-slim notebook will follow the chic, multicolor design of the desktop model, and the price will be set at less than US$1,500. However, neither Alpha Top nor Apple was willing to confirm the rumor. Apple's representatives in Taiwan said only that their company "will surprise the market" in the second half of the year with a new product line.
With all that said, we are pretty sure this report is on the money.