Korean electronics giant Samsung has reportedly begun outsourcing notebook production for the first time, with Taiwanese ODM Compal Electronics the lucky manufacturer and shipments to begin as early as June.
Taiwanese tech title Digitimes spoke to its familiar “notebook supply chain manufacturers” who blabbed that the deal would initially involve orders for four models, with shipments to reach around three million units by the end of the year.
Samsung is apparently unsure how much of its notebook business it wants to outsource in 2013, but the sources reckon that orders will increase.
The specific models set to be produced by Compal were not revealed by the sources, although Samsung has been busy announcing Ivy Bridge machines this month.
A fortnight ago came two 15.6in notebooks running third-gen Core i7 quad-core processors, and a 17.3in machine running a Core i7-3610QM quad-core Ivy Bridge chip – all part of the Series 5 550P family.
A week earlier came the launch of the 17.3in Series 7 Chronos 17, powered by the 2.3GHz i7-3615QM Ivy Bridge chip.
Compal will certainly be pleased with the orders given that previous reports suggested it and other Taiwanese ODMs could suffer in a pre-Ivy Bridge lull.
If the reports are accurate, Samsung may be looking to slash costs from its in-house production operations, which currently centre around the Suzhou facility in eastern China.
However, given that the factory is believed to have capacity for only around 17m units per year, it may in any case be looking for other options to meet demand if its reported prediction of shipping 20 million notebooks this year is accurate.
Samsung’s CEO for China, Kim Young-ha, recently expressed concerns of slowing consumer demand in the People’s Republic which could affect long-term growth, although he admitted revenue for the firm would increase 30-40 per cent in China this year.
Analyst IHS iSuppli, meanwhile, predicted the PC sales in China would surge by 13 per cent. ®