Quanta Mum on iPhone, Dell Smart Phone Orders

Quanta Computer Inc., the world's largest contract laptop PC maker, is reportedly gearing up to make iPhones for Apple Inc. and a new smartphone for Dell Inc., but the company isn't talking.

The Economic Daily News, a Chinese-language newspaper in Taiwan, reported that Quanta is already slated to become an iPhone assembler, the second Taiwanese company behind Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. Ltd., to build the handsets for Apple. Quanta is also working on a new smartphone for Dell, the newspaper reported, without citing a source for the information.

Quanta does not discuss customer orders, a spokeswoman said, but noted that this year, the company is focused on building its smartphone and PDA (personal digital assistant) business.

The company's stock, listed on the Taiwan Stock Exchange, has moved little since the report came out, up just 0.2 percent to NT$56.7 (US$1.73) midday in Taipei on Tuesday. Quanta has been the focus of iPhone rumors for months now.

In fact, the company has been the focus of local media over several issues, including a purported merger with Hon Hai as well as speculation the company's president plans to resign.

Last Wednesday, Hon Hai took issue with the merger rumors in a corporate filing to the Taiwan Stock Exchange.

Hon Hai "vehemently refutes for the fifth time the unfounded market rumors on a Hon Hai-Quanta merger," it said in the statement. Hon Hai, which operates under the name Foxconn, is the world's largest contract electronics manufacturer. There has been speculation of a tie-up with Quanta for some time because pundits believe Hon Hai wants to enter the laptop PC manufacturing business.

Quanta is also the subject of rumors that its president plans to resign in August. Michael Wang, president of Quanta, has confirmed he has taken personal leave until Aug. 25, but has declined to comment further on his status at the company. But he also revealed in a filing to the Taiwan Stock Exchange that he sold 3.5 million shares in Quanta, or over a third of his holdings, earlier this month. Wang still owns 4.77 million shares of the laptop PC maker.

"Regarding media reports that company president Michael Wang has resigned, Quanta clarifies that our president is currently taking personal time away from work. Company operations are all normal," Quanta said in a company filing to the stock exchange earlier this month.

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