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  • NEC to Buy Notebook PCs from Taiwan's FIC
  • November 12, 1998 (TOKYO) -- NEC Corp. said it will buy notebook personal computers from a Taiwan manufacturer in order to make its PC business profitable.
    This is the first time NEC is purchasing notebook PCs from an outside supplier. It follows earlier procurement of low-cost desktop PCs from First International Computer Inc. (FIC) of Taiwan. NEC also will buy notebooks from FIC.

    The company also will use Intel Corp. products. NEC said it also might sell a notebook PC using Advanced Micro Devices Inc.'s K6 chip. A K6 machine was test marketed at selected PC shops in the fall.

    NEC had been producing notebook PCs on its own and using Intel products in its PCs. But it decided it needed to go outside to buy notebook PCs to become profitable in its global PC business.

    NEC's entry-level notebook PCs for the year-end holiday sales campaign are provided by FIC and manufactured based on design specifications and a body size set by NEC.

    NEC said there are two reasons for its decision to purchase from the Taiwan maker. FIC offered lower manufacturing costs than does our factory in Yonezawa, the production base for NEC's notebook PCs, and there is no difference in quality of the notebook PCs made by Taiwan and Japanese manufacturers due to the technical improvement of Taiwan makers, said NEC executive vice president Yoshi Takayama.

    The K6-based model came on the market in August 1998. It was produced and sold by NEC's subsidiary, NEC Personal Systems Ltd., under shop brands offered by certain PC shops.

    This trial concluded with some 1,000 sets being produced and sold in three areas of Hokkaido, Shikoku and Kyushu. NEC said the launch of the model was a test marketing to see how PCs with K6 processors would be accepted in the market."

    NEC said it sold the number of sets planned. Many customers who bought machines with the K6 instead of models with MMX Pentium processors did so because the latter were in short supply during the summer sales campaign.

    The company said it is likely it will market the K6-based machine under shop brands again starting next year, but not during its year-end sales campaign.

    NEC said it wants to develop sales under shop brands as a new channel of marketing.

    (Nikkei Personal Computing)

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    Updated: Wed Nov 11 16:46:21 1998 PDT