Quanta Computer expects to ship fewer computers than it predicted this year, as it's hit by “slowing iMac shipments and cuts in orders from Hewlett-Packard”, reports Taiwan's DigiTimes.

The company had earlier predicted it would ship 6.13 million computers with LCD panels in 2002 – 50 per cent more machines than it built last year. The figure includes the “1 million” Macs it expects to ship to Apple this year.

The report reveals that iMac production has slipped during the year, in the face of continued market slowness. The report lends spark to popular rumours circulating as the build-up to Macworld Expo begins.

Big iMacs? Another report issued during Far East computer show Computex claims: “Quanta will ship new 17- and 19-inch iMacs beginning in the third quarter 2002.”

Apple would define reports of this kind as rumour, in advance of any announcements at Macworld Expo. However, the Far East reports could sit behind new rumours from CNet this morning. CNet's Joe Wilcox claims Apple will deliver a new iMac with a larger display at Macworld Expo next week, citing “sources’.

If true, the decision to release such a machine comes as the PC industry faces a serious PC sales slump - corporate sales continue to sag, and it now looks like consumers are limiting their spending, in reaction to continued economic and political uncertainty.

With no clear indication of source, CNet's report continues to claim that Apple will announce a new version of iTunes, issue a release date for the next major OS X upgrade, code-named Jaguar, and announce new monitors. CNet denies that a new Power Mac will be released at the show.

Apple will announce its financial results for the past quarter next week, July 16. The company will issue no guidance on unannounced products.