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TMCNet:  Hon Hai Controls 10.7% of US Camera Maker

[December 21, 2012]

Hon Hai Controls 10.7% of US Camera Maker

TAIPEI, Dec 21, 2012 (SinoCast Daily Business Beat via COMTEX) -- Taiwan-based OEM giant Hon Hai Group said on December 19 that it had agreed to acquire a 10.7 percent stake in US camera maker Woodman Labs, Inc. for USD 200 million.

People in the circle said later that this should be a move it took to make preparation for iTV of US consumer technology giant Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) and industry observers forecasted previously that functions of the terminal would include Siri, uncased hold 3D, iTV applications, multi-touch control, and cloud playing. In the meantime, this should be a part of its strategic business shift. It saw the profit margin of major business continue falling and hurt by this, the share price of its listed unit Foxconn International Holdings Ltd. (SEHK: 2038) had dropped by about 25 percent since the start of this year. It acted as a major OEM partner of Apple and related OEM profit margin was still pretty. However, that of products by other companies continued dropping.

An insider with a subsidiary of it in Beijing disclosed that Foxconn was actually strong in not only OEM but also software and had had a self-owned R&D team. In the field of TV, it was busy in building a self-owned cloud bio-system and through the modes including providing solutions and selling set top boxes, it was expanding to the fields of telecom operators and terminals.

Terry Gou, chairman of it, unveiled achievements of its cloud application service, a corporate patent cloud operation center, in June last year, adding that it would enter the fields of consumer cloud, industrial could, patent cloud, broadband network and smart grid in succession in the future. Later, it put a plant US-based Cisco set up in Mexico into pocket and this was regarded as a strategic move taken to pave the way for Internet TVs and cloud computing.

According to an internal report by Digitimes, Terry once said that it planned to build Foxconn into a shareholding firm and this would help it well consolidate resources. Foxconn started up as a mobile phone OEM firm in 2000 and stretched out reach to the field of PC main board OEM in 2001. It entered the fields of optical communication and magnesium alloy in 2003, auto electronics in 2005, digital cameras in 2006, and medical devices in 2009. And so far, it has completed an arrangement in the fields of computer, consumer electronics, car, channel, content, and so on. Besides, Terry has said several times that it would shift into an internal technology firm from an external manufacturer.

(USD 1 = CNY 6.23) Source: www.yicai.com (December 21, 2012)

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