IBM farms out PCs

IBM Corp., prominent in the growth of personal computers over the last few decades, plans to outsource the manufacturing of its desktop PC line.

IBM of Armonk, N.Y., inked a deal with Sanmina-SCI Corp. of San Jose, Calif., to manufacture its NetVista desktop PC lines. Under the three-year, $5 billion deal, IBM will continue to develop NetVista computers and provide services and support to its PC customers.

Outsourcing the PC manufacturing will reduce IBM's costs and let the company concentrate on research, design, marketing and product support, IBM officials said.

IBM has three NetVista product lines: the M series, with Intel Pentium 4 processors and the IBM Embedded Security Subsystem; the A series, with a choice of Intel Celeron or Pentium processors; and the small-footprint X series, with integrated flat-panel monitors. IBM will continue to assemble its ThinkPad notebook PCs for the U.S. market at its plant in Guadalajara, Mexico.

IBM also licensed its NetVista line of thin-client desktop systems to another thin-client manufacturer, Neoware Systems Inc. of King of Prussia, Pa.

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