Samsung hints at contract manufacturing for laptops

December 22, 2011: Samsung has always manufactured their laptops, but now industry executives from Taiwan notes that Samsung has decided to outsource laptop manufacturing to an ODM in Taiwan. Sources say that it plans to outsource an insignificant contract manufacturing to vendors.

Currently Samsung is manufacturing laptops from its Suzhou facility in China. Industry sources say that Samsung has been contacting contract suppliers in Taiwan such as Quanta Computer, and Pegatron Corp. Official sources from Samsung responded that they were just looking for information on contract manufacturing and that they are not looking for a contract manufacturer.

On the other hand, sources inside the industry have observed that Samsung has already started outsourcing notebooks in small volumes and will remain small in 2012.

The reason behind the speculation is that the production facility in China has the maximum production capacity of 17 million laptops per year, and now the shipment of laptops have reached 11 million, which has created a row that Samsung will soon be affected by shortage in capacity. It is said that it is quite unlikely that Samsung will increase the in house production capacity to handle the increasing number of laptop models.  

Even the quantity of the outsourcing seems low at the beginning; it might an advantage for Taiwan’s contract manufacturers as the quantity will pick up in the coming years.

The company has set ambitious goals in the case of laptop shipments, where it expects to deliver 17 to19 million laptops in the year 2012. It is not likely to achieve the goal of 17 million laptops for 2011, as the shipments during the first three quarters were in the range of 9.7 million. It is expected that Samsung will deliver 11 million laptops towards the end of 2011.

If the company is able to achieve the goal of 17 to 19 million laptops in 2012, then it has to make necessary preparations to meet the demand for the additional 2 million. This might be the reason why they have contacted the contract manufactures in Taiwan, if in case needed.

Even though Samsung will not be able to achieve its goal of 17 million for 2011, it is ranked No. 8 among the branded laptop suppliers across the world.

The contract manufacturers in Taiwan will have a good time if Samsung is able to achieve its goal of 17 to 19 million laptops in 2012.

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