Acer, the world's second biggest PC company, is to make desktop units for the IBM PC Company, IBM confirmed today, creating speculation that Big Blue is about to slash jobs at its manufacturing plants across the world.
IBM will use Taiwanese Acer to manufacture desktops as well as Thinkpad notebooks, Richard Chapman, desktop product manager, said.
?We?ve signed a letter of intent with Acer to manufacture low end monitors and mobiles, and yes it is confirmed,? Chapman said. ?Other competitors of IBM are doing it or thinking of doing it. It [Acer] is a quality product and there are reduced manufacturing costs.?
The deal, which could net the Asian company over $1 billion, is expected to cover assembly of a new low cost line of PCs, codenamed the IBM PC 100.
The quantity of machines that Acer will make for Big Blue is not yet agreed. ?I haven?t seen volume numbers or volumes associated with this agreement,? Chapman said. ?I don't know which manufacturing regions will be affected.?
Although a final deal is not yet signed, Chapman claimed manufacturing quality will not be affected by a switch from, for example, Greenock in Scotland to Taiwan. ?We cannot afford to ever compromise the IBM brand name,? he said.
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