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3 Digital Camera Makers to Vie for HP's Brand License

Mar 03, 2008 | By CENS

Taipei, March 3, 2008 (CENS)--Planning to license its brand name out to digital camera makers worldwide, Hewlett-Packard Co. (HP) is scheduled to determine the winner of its brand licensee from among three makers in the line, namely the U.S.'s Flextronics International Ltd. and Taiwan's Lite-on Technology Corp. and Altek Corp., in the second quarter of this year, according to industry sources.

HP has marketed its brand digital cameras at low prices all around the world, scoring sales of US$5 billion a year on average. But the company resolved last year to withdraw from the market and license its brand name out. This has attracted quite a few digital camera makers to scramble for the brand license. After the first round of the bidding, the three aforementioned companies were picked to enter the second round of bidding for the license.

Flextronics has purchased Kodak's digital camera R&D center in Japan and manufacturing plant in Shanghai, China, showing its ambition to venture into the field. The company now supplies middle- and high-end digital cameras for Kodak, and considers becoming a licensee of HP's brand name to achieve economics of scale in its production.

Also, Altek has cooperated with HP as a contract supplier of digital cameras for a long time, and plans to acquire HP's brand license to consolidate the latter's orders.

Although without digital camera-manufacturing experience in the past, Lite-On, maintaining long-term ties with HP in the field of disc drivers, is also invited to join the bid. The company last year landed orders from HP for digital photo frames. However, compared to Altek which has shown strong interest in the bid, Lite-on noted that it is still considering whether to actively vie for that or not.

But, according to industry insiders, no matter which company wins the license, the market for contract production of digital cameras will definitely witness a reshuffle among makers.


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