Foxconn Electronics, a leading contract maker of electronics, has reportedly applied to participate in the Global Mobility Bazaar led by Via Technologies, which signals interest of the company in netbooks. Currently Foxconn produces nearly every kind of computer components, but not mobile computers, hence, the information seems to be nearly a sensation.
According to a news-story by DigiTimes web-site, not only Foxconn Electronics (Hon Hai Precision Industry), but also other contract makers of electronics, including Quanta Computer, Compal Electronics and Pegatron Technology are also considering the option of entering the white-box netbook market, but only Foxconn had reportedly applied to become a part of Via’s GMB.
It is somewhat a surprise that Foxconn is interested in making low-cost netbooks based on microprocessors by Via Technologies as such systems by definition do not allow the company to earn high profit margins. On the other hand, the popularity of ultra low-cost personal computers (ULCPCs) is increasing rapidly in developing countries, which should ensure demand of high volumes, a particular area of Foxconn’s expertise.
The GMB program is a collaborative effort between Via Technologies, Microsoft Corp., American Megatrends (AMI), ITE Technologies, SanDisk, several China-based makers of mobile computers as well as a number of infrastructure partners. Under the program, Via as well as AMI, ITE and Microsoft will help manufacturers to develop netbooks, notebooks and other mobile devices based on various central processing units (CPUs) by Via, such as C7 or Nano. The latter will also ensure that the quality of actual products is high enough.
The GMB's first 10” netbook is reportedly due in May ’09 at price-points below competing solution. The alliance projects average selling price of its netbooks to be around $219 in 2010.