Quanta cuts staff by a third

Quanta, which is the world’s largest PC contract maker, has cut its staff on its Taiwan production line by a third this year.

Normally, it would be hiring about 3,000 people now, but had dropped the number to 2,000 thanks to a decline in client orders.

Quanta spokesman Elton Yang told Reuters  that the 1,000 employees were all contractors. The company would keep staff levels at the Taiwan production line at a minimum until things improve.

Tang did not say what the minimum level was and was not saying which client pulled the plug on their orders.

Reuters makes a stab at the fact that a big Quanta client is BlackBerry maker Research In Motion, which did not do as well as it hoped with its PlayBook tablet device.

Quanta’s Taiwan factory was specifically for RIM production, and Quanta had shipped 1.5 million PlayBooks in the first half, while RIM had flogged only 700,000.

Overall Quanta will not suffer from RIM cutting PlayBook production. It makes only a percent of its revenue from RIM sales.

What is probably saving them all is that the tablet market is not very well-established and is still only a small part of the hardware market.

It seems that Quanta wants to add jobs in China, and thinks that overall notebook shipments in September will be better than expected.