To most ears, Quanta Computer rings unfamiliar. But Apple’s new smartwatch maker has long been an integral, if obscure, player in the global electronics industry.
Unlike its fellow Taiwanese firm and rival Foxconn, Quanta has largely escaped public notice because of its dearth of worker riots and scandals. Yet it’s the world’s largest personal computer manufacturer, making laptops for nearly all the world’s big computer brands. It also produces a range of well-known devices such as the Amazon Kindle Fire and Apple’s iMacs.
The company is based in the Guishan -- which means Turtle Mountain -- Township in northern Taiwan, in a futuristic headquarters with glass walls, modern statues in the lobby and a massive central courtyard. It’s not necessarily the expected look for a laptop manufacturer, but the company’s chairman Barry Lam is a well-known art collector in Taiwan.
The company tends to pick up slightly up-market orders compared to smaller manufacturing rivals like Compal Electronics and Wistron. It has also begun to give US server makers like IBM and Dell a run for their money as it cuts out the middle man and starts selling servers directly to end customers.
Like most electronics makers, Quanta’s factories are primarily in southern China, although it has bases elsewhere, such as final assembly facilities for Apple in the US.
Quanta is now preparing to begin production in a few months of Apple’s new smartwatch, as reported in The Wall Street Journal. The company has long been Apple’s iMac supplier and has also produced smaller devices such as iPods.
Quanta has so far been mum on its watch-making developments, in keeping with the oath of silence sworn by Apple’s suppliers.