Business Week has an interesting article on the company slated to produce MIT’s $100 laptop, Taiwan’s Quanta. This company does a lot of work for Dell and HP and industry pundits wonder what the impact of them producing the cheap laptop will be on their present clientele.
With growth in the U.S. slowing, big PC-makers want to expand sales in faster-growing markets in the developing world — which is where OLPC hopes to sell its Quanta-made laptops. "If Quanta goes down this path, Dell and HP aren’t going to be that happy," says (Deutsche Bank analyst in Taipei, Frank) Lee. As a result, the pair "may be less inclined to give [Quanta] orders."
And since AMD is providing processors, Quanta might feel some heat from Intel, as well:
Some analysts, though, say Quanta might alienate some of its best customers with the machines. For instance, Quanta and other Taiwanese outsourcing specialists depend on coordinating with Intel so they can be prepared when the U.S. semiconductor giant launches a new microprocessor. Teaming up with AMD, Quanta might find that Intel is less willing to share information, says Frank Lee.
As I wrote earlier, Intel has not exactly been a champion of these laptops for the developing world. It will be interesting to see if they penalize Quanta.