IBM has finally acknowledged that Acer is manufacturing its PCs after the two broadened their existing deal to sell an array of each other's products, in a contract valued at $8 billion over seven years.
The relationship between IBM and the Taiwan hi-tech conglomerate had been an OEM deal to date, in which Acer produced machines to IBM's specification.
But the long-standing arrangement had never been publicly announced.
A representative at Acer claimed this was because: 'Customers generally like to think that the company whose name is on a product actually made that product.'
However, under last week's arrangement with IBM, Acer will resell Big Blue's floppy and hard disk drives and gain access to some intellectual property, while IBM will resell Acer's monitors and other peripheral products.
Acer, which is relatively successful in both the consumer and business markets in Europe under its own brand name - but less so in the US - also admitted to other OEM deals, but would not name the buyers. It claims to be world's third largest PC manufacturer and generated 1998 revenue of $6.7 billion.
Previously, Acer has licensed other IBM intellectual property. In March 1998, its Acer Display Technology division signed an agreement with IBM to license its TFT-LCD (thin film transistor liquid crystal display) technology.
The aim was to develop manufacturing processes to produce LCDs driven by amorphous silicon thin film transistors for notebooks and large-screen monitors.
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