Following Unisys' decision in January to contract out its PC manufacturing operation and focus on PC design and systems integration, HP will supply notebooks, desktops and entry-level, Intel-based servers.
Financial terms were not disclosed and Unisys will retain production of its higher end servers. Martin Sexton, Unisys VP of corporate communications, declined to reveal competing tenders, but it is understood that Dell, Hitachi and Acer are all in the running.
Acer expressed its disappointment and surprise at Unisys' decision to go with HP. Graham Jackson, AcerUK MD, said the HP deal must be expensive as the financial crisis in South East Asia means sourcing from countries like Taiwan and South Korea would now be cheaper. 'The trend is towards manufacturing in Taiwan, because of the explosion of the sub-$1000 PC market. Even HP has its laptops produced OEM by Twinhead (a Taiwanese manufacturer),' he commented.
He also suggested HP would come up against its own resellers since Unisys had become a glorified reseller.
But James Waller, director of HP reseller Morse Data, said the deal was more likely to clash with HP's own professional services organisation (PSO) than its reseller channel.
However, Dave Thompson, HP UK marketing manager, said it would depend on which space Unisys operated in, but conceded that there was potential conflict.
Unisys is in discussion with HP regarding the future of its Unisys' manufacturing plants in San Jose and Villers Ecalles, with a view to selling them. The two are also discussing whether the HP-built machines should be dual brands.
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