China’s desktop PC, home appliance and electronics parts makers are jostling for a piece of the notebook computer market, counting heavily on their experienced Taiwanese suppliers. Limited notebook manufacturing experience, the still-developing supply base for components and market competition have made producing a notebook from scratch an expensive and time-consuming proposition for mainland notebook vendors. Consequently, more companies are adopting the so-called “off-the-shelf” model, in which they choose designs from Taiwanese makers, make modifications on appearance and features and tag their labels on the machines. It may take years before the companies lessen their dependence on Taiwanese contractors and start full-blown production. For now, only those with the deepest war chest and the will to spend on marketing and services stand to gain market share, but the smaller players that base their business strategies on expediency will not survive the competition.
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