News Bits: Taiwan Knows Notebook Design, Vista Launch Celebration Set, Samsung Fuel Cell Battery

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4 out of 5 notebooks are designed in Taiwan

Four out of five notebooks are designed on the island of Taiwan. Firms on Taiwan have transitioned from typical contract manufacturers into designers and innovators. Competition is driving the changes, and companies want to set themselves apart.

50% of Dell’s PCs, the world’s #1 PC maker, are designed in Taiwan, where the design team works closely with their manufacturers. According to JP Morgan analyst Alvin Kwock, "Over 80 percent of the world’s notebook computer design is outsourced to Taiwan now." It is logical to have the design teams in close proximity to the manufacturers.

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Windows Vista celebration launch set for January 29th in NYC

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Microsoft sent out an email invite last Friday inviting developers, members of the press, bloggers and other folks to join in a celebration in New York City for the launch of Windows Vista. The launch celebration will be taking place in Times Square. In an email sent (the top of which you can see in the image above received by editors of this site) Bill Gates is quoted as saying "Because of the immense personal contributions of so many, we hope you will help us celebrate a new digital lifestyle and a new era in personal computing."

Microsoft is returning to New York City for the second time in three months to launch Vista. In November they rang the opening bell of the Nasdaq to celebrate Vista being released to business channels.

Fuel cell battery for Samsung ultraportable lasts 8 hours

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Samsung today introduced a 12000Wh battery based on a fuel cell for the Samsung Sense Q35 ultraportable notebook. It has a maximum output of 20W, and can power the PC for eight hours.

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Over 50 million notebooks made in China from Jan-Oct

China produced 50.08 million notebook computers from January to October of 2006.

Read more at DigiTimes

DDR2 contract prices stable in December due to high demand

DDR2 contract prices remained stable in December due to strong demand for the chips. Stronger than expected notebook computer sales have makers looking for memory chips for new notebooks. DDR memory pricing continues to fall as it is starting to slide out of its current mainstream role.

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Earthquakes cause Asian communication issues

On Wednesday, a series of earthquakes in Asia caused a severe telecommunications disruption after several undersea cables were damaged. According to Leng Tai-feng, president of Chunghwa Telecom Co.’s International business, "The repairs could take two to three weeks."

Financial transactions, trading, and telephone calls were virtually cut off. Voice calls to the U.S. are down to 40 percent of the normal volume, and calls to China are down 10 percent. Online banking was down for several companies.

Asia had the slowest Internet connection, with a response time of 619 milliseconds, which is triple the average of 200. Andrew Clark, a sales trader at SG Securities Hong Kong Ltd., said "We are experiencing problems in overseas markets like Taiwan. We can’t get in touch with Japan. We’ve had other brokers come to us to give us orders because they can’t do it. We’re basically using mobile phones to place orders." Repairing the cables could take anywhere between several weeks to two months.

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