Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Quanta shares rise on iPhone speculation....

Shares of Quanta Computer Inc. rose yesterday in the wake of news reports that it is manufacturing iPhones for Apple, with shipments starting in September.

The world's biggest contract maker of notebook computers, Quanta counts Dell Inc and Hewlett-Packard Co among its major clients.

Its share price inched up 0.4 percent to close at NT$50.8 on the Taiwan Stock Exchange yesterday.

Two local business dailies, the Commercial Times and the Economic Daily News, yesterday reported that Quanta will make its first delivery in September, sharing the order with the first appointed iPhone assembler, Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密) -- the nation's largest maker of electronics parts.

The reports added that Quanta's shipments of iPhones would soar to 5 million next year.

However, Vincent Chen (陳豊丰), a research analyst with the investment banking house CLSA Ltd., dismissed the reports.

"We have checked with our industry contact and confirmed that Hon Hai is still doing the iPhone order," Chen wrote in a research note yesterday.

What Quanta is working on is the next iPod model with wireless local area network (WLAN), not the iPhone, he said.

"An order of 5 million units is too big to be true [considering] the challenge Hon Hai is currently facing in raising production yields [for the iPhone]," he wrote.

In a filing to the stock exchange, Quanta refused to comment, citing client confidentiality, but said it was aggressively pursuing new orders to boost the company's sales growth.

Some industry watchers are skeptical about the hype surrounding the iPhone, which is scheduled to debut in the US late next month.

"Apple is targeting to sell 10 million iPhones next year. The figure is only 1 percent of the world's total handset sales," Shiv Bakhshi, an International Data Corp analyst, said at a forum yesterday.

The iPhone may revolutionize the user interface, look and feel of the tele phone, but it might not live up to expectations of being a "market killer," he added.

Quanta has been expanding its production capacity to boost mobile phone and video-music player manufacturing on a contract basis.


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