With the rumors of Samsung buying HP’s PC division there was also talk about Samsung outsourcing its notebook manufacturing. We know that the former is not true, but Samsung has already started to outsource to ODMs.
Samsung has always built its own notebooks, but according to multiple industry sources it has started to look at the Taiwanese ODM companies Quanta, Compal and Pegatron. Officially Samsung says it is evaluating offers and it is not looking to sign any contracts. Multiple sources are saying Samsung has started outsourcing notebook manufacturing, although only at a very, very small scale.
Why Samsung has started outsourcing the manufacturing is unclear, but there are speculations Samsung is getting too big. Samsung’s Suzhou plant can produce at most 17 million computers per year, but so far it has peaked at 11 million units. Samsung has set an ambitious goal for 2012 at 17 – 19 million units, which would be over the capacity of the Suzhou plant. By the end of the year Samsung is expected to have shipped 11 – 12 million units.
We find it unlikely that Samsung will be able to boost sales by 50 percent next year. If they are going to be able to do so it has at least started to look at ways to increase capacity, which will be sorely needed.
From what we can tell the big news here is not that Samsung has started outsourcing, but the goal for 2012. To boost sales in an already established segment like notebooks with 50 percent is a huge challenge. Samsung continues to grow on all active markets, but the question is if notebooks has room for such a big boost?