TAIPEI–When Asustek (華碩) Computer Inc.’s first smartwatch debuts to the world, it will be an innovative product with the right balance between launch timing, technical feasibility, price and form factor, company Chairman Jonney Shih (施崇棠) vowed Thursday. Answering reporters’ question at the Taiwan Economic Summit in Taipei, Shih said Asustek has learned a lot about such “trade offs” between perceptual and rational factors during the design process.
TAIPEI — Taiwan’s Asustek Computer Inc. is scheduled to open its official online store in Singapore on July 7 as the company’s first step in expanding its online sales network of the low-cost ZenFone smartphone into Southeast Asian markets. Further, the PC vendor will open its e-commerce website in Hong Kong in late August or early September, said Michael Huang, general manager of the Taiwan branch of Singapore-based e-commerce group Uitox Corp., which teamed up with Asustek in April this year to sell ZenFone models online in Taiwan.
Asustek Computer and Gigabyte Technology are expected to each ship 5.1-5.2 million own-brand motherboards in the second quarter of 2014 and likely to ship more than six million units in the third, according to supply chain makers. Since Intel already started distributing its K-series processors for overclocking in late-June and will start mass shipping the series in July, motherboard players are optimistic about demand from the PC DIY market in the third quarter and have released new motherboards for the demand.
NEW DELHI: Taiwanese tech major Asus is set to expand presence in the country with introduction of its range of ‘ZenFone’ smartphones next month, which will take head on devices from the stables of Samsung, Microsoft Devices and Motorola as well as domestic firms like Micromax. Asus, known globally for its mother boards, will launch its ZenFone range of smartphones in India next month in the mid and premium range, sources said.
Asustek Computer’s competition with Gigabyte Technology over the motherboard business is growing fiercer as the two firms’ shipment gap will only be 100,000 units, according to sources from channel retailers. Asustek shipped 10.4 million motherboards and Gigabyte 10.3 million units in the first half of 2014.
Asustek Computer has announced plans for the cloud computing industry at the Asus Cloud Day event on May 28 and the company is set to establish a unified platform to integrate resources and expand to the worldwide market. Asustek currently has about 30 million users on its personal cloud platform and is planning to increase the number to 50 million by the end of 2014.
Taiwan and worldwide notebook shipments dropped 13.8% and 14.2% sequentially, and 6.8% and 5.5% on year, respectively in the first quarter of 2014, according to Digitimes Research’s latest figures. The sequential drops were mainly due to seasonality. Although the on-year declines were the slowest compared to those in the past five quarters, whether the notebook market has already started recovering remains to be seen.
Asustek Computer has comprehensively adopted Intel CPU platforms for motherboards, desktops, notebooks, tablets and smartphones, becoming a large client for Intel, according to Taiwan-based component makers. For mobile CPU platforms in particular, Asustek’s adoption is important for Intel because Intel has faced increasing competition from Qualcomm, Nvidia, MediaTek, Allwinner Technology and Fuzhou Rockchip Electronics and has be trying to gain adoption by China-based white-box tablet and smartphone vendors, the sources said.
Despite expectations of a strong second quarter thanks to the launch of Intel’s Haswell Refresh platform, motherboard players such as Asustek Computer, Gigabyte Technology, Micro-Star International (MSI) and ASRock have also been pushing their non-motherboard businesses aggressively, hoping to raise their profitability, according to market watchers.
Global Chromebook shipments in 2014 are expected to reach only 4-5 million units mainly because cloud-based storage is not popular enough and 4G mobile access is not sufficiently available, according to Taiwan-based supply chain makers. Hewlett-Packard (HP), Dell, Acer, Asustek Computer and Samsung Electronics have all been aggressively promoting their Chromebook products with some prices already reaching US$199, the sources noted.