Security researchers warned that an adware program called Superfish, which was preloaded on some Lenovo consumer laptops, opened computers to attack. However, it seems that the same poorly designed and flawed traffic interception mechanism used by Superfish is also used in other software programs. Superfish uses a man-in-the-middle proxy component to interfere with encrypted HTTPS connections, undermining the trust between users and websites. It does this by installing its own root certificate in Windows and uses that certificate to re-sign SSL certificates presented by legitimate websites.
There have always been worries that the Chinese government could use its power to force homegrown technology companies like ZTE, Huawei, Qihoo 360 and Lenovo to spy on user communications, but now a bombshell has landed that shows Lenovo is forcing adware onto users’ computers on the company’s own volition.
Computer giant Lenovo has come under fire from users and security pundits after its consumer laptops were found to contain pre-installed adware/malware which could be used to intercept and hijack encrypted Transport Layer Security communications in Microsoft Windows. The ‘Superfish’ adware is a third-party application that was, until last month, installed on all Lenovo consumer laptops.
Mr. Peter Chang, Regional Head, South Asia and Country Manager, System Business Group, ASUS India said, “Being a value notebook with a premium feel, EeeBook has received tremendous response beyond our comprehensions. This is an exciting phase for us with the form of reception we are getting from the market. To cater to the same, we are today releasing the second lot on Flipkart. We will continue to pump up the units to counter the demand and to satisfy the ever growing appetite of our existing and prospective customers.”
ASUS today announced the EeeBook X205, an affordable 11.6-inch notebook with a full-size keyboard, large touchpad, and powered by a quad core Intel® Atom™ processor. Connected Standby technology provides users with a smartphone-like computing experience, giving them an almost instant resume from sleep mode, and the ability to be socially connected at any time – even with the notebook in standby mode. EeeBook X205 ships with Windows 8.1 with Bing, and is fully-compatible with a wide range of software and hardware.
There were an estimated 46.059 million notebooks shipped globally during the fourth quarter of 2014, increasing by 3.1% on quarter and remaining unchanged on year, according to Digitimes Research. Hewlett-Packard (HP) was the largest vendor accounting for 23.0% of the shipments, followed by Lenovo with 22.4%, Dell with 11.4%, Asustek Computer with 10.0%, Acer with 8.7%, Apple with 8.4%, Toshiba with 5.6%, Samsung Electronics with 2.2% and Fujitsu with 1.3%, Digitimes Research indicated.
Although Windows 10 and Intel’s 14nm-based Skylake CPUs are both expected to launch in the third quarter, sources from the upstream supply chain are conservative about the new Wintel combination’s ability to stimulate the replacement of PCs and expect their shipments for notebooks in 2015 to remain at around the same level as in 2014 with the only exception being Apple’s Mac series products.
BENGALURU: Even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi is raising the pitch for “Make-in-India” campaign, the world’s third largest PC maker, Dell, is struggling to use its manufacturing capacity in India to the hilt. Reason: unfavourable conditions. “If the country wants to get real benefit from local manufacturing, we need to revise the existing inverted duty structure,” Alok Ohrie, Dell’s India MD, told ET.
TAIPEI — Taiwan’s Asustek Computer Inc. may have made lower than expected shipments of its low-cost EeeBook laptop in the fourth quarter of 2014 due to competition from tablets and smartphones, according to Digitimes Research. Only about 200,000 units of the EeeBook X205 were shipped in the fourth quarter of 2014, the Taipei-based research firm predicted in a report Tuesday.
Taiwan-based notebook ODM Compal Electronics is negotiating an increase in ODM prices by 5-15% with clients, with the adjustment needed to reflect ongoing wage hikes in China and expected to take effect after the 2015 Lunar New Year holiday in late February, according to company president Ray Chen. Compal had weak gross margins and operating profit margins for the third quarter of 2014 as its US-based clients launched new products, which required the ODM to spend extra resources to recruit sufficient workers for related production, Chen said, adding competition for workers between IT players has always been fierce.
Notebook orders from channel retailers and regional brands in Russia have been decreasing due to impacts of the Russian rouble’s drastic devaluation, according to Taiwan-based ODMs. Because of economic sanctions by the US and European Union and the dropping crude oil pricing, Russia, whose economy heavily relies on oil exports, is facing an economic decline.
In the third quarter of 2014, the New Zealand PC market shipments came in at 187,000 units, according to IDC’s Asia/Pacific Quarterly tracker. This resulted in a year over year growth of 12.9%, which was more than IDC’s forecast by 3.8%. The top five New Zealand PC vendors are Dell, Toshiba, Apple and Acer Group, but HP remained the market leader by a significant amount.
The days of personal computers (PCs) and laptops may be numbered. “The PC is already on its way out; laptops have started to disappear,” said Barry Lerner, South Pacific regional chief information officer of Huawei Australia. “We’re going into the small (mobile) devices, and the tablets. Businesses and customers will start to utilize cloud.”
Despite aggressively attempting to advance into the PC and server industries, ARM-based CPU platforms will not be able to achieve any significant results within the next two years in the two segments; however ARM and Intel have found a new business opportunities in the Internet of things (IoT) segment and both expect growth in that area, according to sources from the supply chain.
Global notebook shipments by top-five brand vendors and top-three ODMs declined 15% on average in October, affected by the roll-outs of new low-priced models in the previous month, according to Digitimes Research. However, shipments by top brand vendors and ODMs alike continued to grow for a few months in a row prior to October as compared to a year earlier periods, indicating an acceleration of concentration of the notebook industry.
Acer has posted the highest level of growth among top PC makers, recording double digit growth despite a 1.4 per cent overall decline. The latest preliminary data from IDC for the third quarter of 2014 showed Acer has improved on its year-on-year worldwide PC shipment with growth at 11.8 per cent. This was in contrast to the overall industry decline of 1.4 per cent. Quarter-on-quarter, Acer saw a 12.6 per cent rise, which also surpassed the industry average of 5.2 per cent.
The combined notebook shipments (not including detachable models) of the global top-5 brand vendors enjoyed on-month growth of 19% in September and were at a level similar to a year ago because of the distribution of new entry-level models. Vendors’ inventory adjustments in August also contributed to the growth. Among the top-5 vendors, Asustek saw 70% on-year growth and Lenovo recorded over 40% growth in September. Hewlett-Packard (HP) was the only vendor seeing an on-year decline. However, the top-3 notebook ODMs did not perform as well as the vendors and only achieved a shipment amount similar to that seen in August.
Microsoft, which launched Windows 8.1 with Bing for US$249 notebooks, has recently decided to continue pushing the solution in 2015, but with some modifications on specifications and applicable markets, looking to suppress Chromebooks which have been achieving rapid growth recently. Because of the two product lines’ different market positions and value created for the market, Digitimes Research believes Windows 8.1 with Bing will hurt brand vendors’ profits more than its effect on suppressing Chromebook growth.
PC shipments in the Japan market in August 2014 came to JPY44.8 billion (US$410 million) in value, decreasing 26.8% and hitting the lowest monthly level since April 2007, according to the Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association (JEITA). The PC market in Japan had seen significant demand in early 2014 ahead of a rise in consumption tax in April, but since May PC shipments and sales value have been dropping