FOXCONN IS THE latest firm to get in on Via's Global Mobility Bazaar (GMB) alliance, aiming to flood the Chinese market with cheap white-box netbooks.
A Via executive has said Foxconn will now join the likes of Power Quotient International (PQI) Innolux Display and Kinpo Electronics in banging together bits and bobs of off-the-shelf parts to make the little lappies on the cheap, with the first 10 inch model set to come out in May.
With the credit crunch amplifying the craze for all things cheap, GMB reckons it will be laughing all the way to the bank if it hits its target of an average selling price of $219 per netbook by 2010.
The alliance isn't just thinking small either, planning on jumping the netbook/notebook divide with devices bigger than 10 inches, possibly running either Linux or Android based platforms.
Interestingly, Digitimes points out Via has purportedly been bandying around remarks about the limitations of ARM processors, indicating the firm has given serious thought to ideas of ARM-based netbooks.
Via is also being ambitiously optimistic in predictions for this year's white-box notebook shipments, with the firm saying it expects to see 50 million units shipped, some 20 million more than expected by market analysts.
Whether Via is correct or not in its prediction, it is certainly safe to say white-box notebook shipments will probably continue to account for about 20 per cent of global notebook shipments in 2009.
As for mainboard makers, Taiwanese firm Jetway is already doling out motherboards to Chinese white-box netbook suppliers, with others like Gigabyte, MSI and Elitegroup apparently on the cusp of joining the fray, leaving only Asus aloof in its corner. µ