To further diversify its product base, EMS company Nam Tai Electronics Inc. will produce a palm-size digital camera for Sweden's LM Ericsson.
Last week, Nam Tai, Shenzhen, China, announced it will make the CommuniCam MCA-10 digital camera, which works in conjunction with Ericsson's GSM and GPRS mobile phones. The financial terms and length of the contract were not disclosed. Production is slated to begin this month.
The deal marks Nam Tai's first working relationship with Ericsson and its first venture into the digital camera market. Ericsson's digital camera, the size of a match box, allows users to take instant pictures by downloading via the handset. The CommuniCam is attached to the bottom of an Ericsson handset, which is equipped with a modem, an Ericsson spokeswoman said.
The product represents the latest technology wizardry designed to tap into consumers' desire to use personal messaging devices to e-mail instant images, according to Nam Tai. CommuniCam is controlled through menus in the phone display and can hold up to five images.
"The size of the Ericsson product fits our niche-we make a lot of handheld products," said Lorne Waldman, Nam Tai's secretary.
About 40% of the EMS company's sales are consumer-related; the remaining 60% are in telecom equipment and components.
Nam Tai makes calculators, palm-size PCs, PDAs, smart-card readers, LCD modules for cell phones, and lithium-ion rechargeable batteries.
The company counts Canon, Epson, Legend Holdings, Sharp, and Texas Instruments among its clients.
The recent contract win with Ericsson shows that Nam Tai can compete in the fast-growing digital sector, according to Waldman.
"Our focus is on [making] anywhere, anytime devices," he said. "We won the [Ericsson] business based on our cost, quality, and reliability."
Nam Tai executives hope that other OEMs will take notice of the company's growing strength in the telecom market. The EMS provider has 5,200 employees and four plants in the Shenzhen area to offer low-cost manufacturing services, Waldman said.