Tablet PC Craze Will Benefit Taiwanese Makers and Suppliers

Fueled by the extraordinary success of iPad, Dell is scheduled to roll out its tablet PC Streak on Aug.13, Eastern Time, U.S., sparking a battle for the emerging market, which is expected to benefit Taiwanese contract manufacturers and suppliers.

Dell reportedly has selected Qisda as the contract manufacturer of Streak. To widen its lead, Apple reportedly will launch second-generation iPad in the first quarter next year, which will continued to be assembled by Hon Hai and will also benefit such supplying Taiwanese firms as Foxconn Technologies and Services, Simplo Technology, and Wintek Technology.

Acer Inc. will join the fray by rolling out its tablet PC with 7- and 10-inch screens in October, which will be manufactured by Compal, according to market sources.

Other leading firms have also publicized plans for the launch of tablet PC, including Galaxy tablet of Samsung, BlackPad, and HP Slate and LeTablet, which will bring substantial business opportunities to Taiwanese contract manufacturers and suppliers, including Wistron, Quanta, Wintek, Young Fast, and Sintek. Lenovo and ASUS have their tablet PC plans in the works, too.

Dell Streak embraces a platform other than Itel, the traditional PC platform, and farms out the manufacturing works to Qisda, instead of Compal and Wistron, its contract manufacturers for notebook PCs. Streak will sell for US$549.99, or only US$299.99, should the sales be tied up with a two-year subscription contract with AT&T.

Market players pointed out that tablet PC is a product astride PC and communications, as evidenced by the engagement of leading mobile-phone brands Samsung and RIM, a smartphone vendor, in the field.

(by Philip Liu)

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