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  • Mustek Systems Expands into Notebook PCs, Digital Cameras
  • August 17, 1998 (TAIPEI) -- Scanner manufacturer Mustek Systems Inc. is making efforts to expand its operations into the sectors of digital cameras and notebook computers.
    The company plans to begin mass production of DVD players and LCD projectors in October, and it has set up an affiliate for the manufacturing of notebook computers.

    A Mustek executive said that the company spent NT$500 million (US$14 million) on the initial stage of establishing its notebook computer unit. The affiliate will target its own brand of low-priced notebook computers, and will later move into original equipment manufacturing (OEM) operations.

    Development of Mustek's first notebook computer is expected to be completed in September, and the company projects production of 50,000 units in 1999. The company estimates that the output will reach 100,000 units in 2000, when it should start turning a profit on its notebook PC operations.

    The Mustek executive said that while the digital camera market has great potential, it might take some time for the market to fully develop. The profit margin for digital cameras now stands at about 10 percent, far lower than the average 50 percent to 60 percent for handheld scanners five to six years ago. However, sales of digital cameras are rising. While global scanner sales are seen reaching 13 million units this year, sales of digital cameras are expected to register about 10 million units.

    Despite this shift in focus, Mustek remains optimistic about the future of the scanner industry. The executive said that 20 percent of personal computer owners in the United States now have scanners, and the figure may climb to 50 percent in the future.

    (Commercial Times, Taiwan)

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    Updated: Fri Aug 14 18:09:19 1998 PDT