TAIPEI–Taiwan’s Asustek Computer Inc. (華碩) could turn to a second mobile operating system for future smartwatches in order to achieve longer battery life, leaving behind the Android Wear system used on its current ZenWatch, company CEO Jerry Shen (沈振來) said. Shen confirmed however that Asustek will use Google Inc.’s Android Wear in one of its second-generation ZenWatch models before any possible future changes occur.
Asustek Computer saw net profit of NT$4.509 billion (US$143 million) for the fourth quarter of 2014 decrease by 22.41% on quarter and by 20.77% on year mainly due to loss of NT$713 million from foreign exchange, the company said at an investors conference on February 13. Notebook and 2-in-1 hybrid models accounted for 56% of fourth-quarter 2014 consolidated revenues, smartphones for 14%, DIY motherboards and graphics cards for 11%, tablets for 8%, and others for 11%.
TAIPEI — Asustek Computer Inc. (華碩) reported a decline in its fourth-quarter net income on Friday as the Taiwanese PC maker registered higher losses than expected in foreign exchange. The company posted net income of NT$4.51 billion (US$144 million) for the crucial holiday season, down 22 percent sequentially and down 21 percent from a year earlier.
Although Sony Mobile Communications, LG Electronics, Motorola Mobility and Asustek Computer have launched Android Wear-based smartwatches, Samsung Electronics, HTC and some China-based makers are likely to release comparable models running on their own platforms initially, according to industry sources.
TAIPEI — Asustek Computer Inc. has been named a “Friend of the Foreign Service” by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in recognition of the Taiwanese PC maker’s efforts in narrowing the digital divide in developing economies. Since 2000, a foundation set up by Asustek has donated computers to Latin American and Caribbean countries through Taiwan’s foreign representative offices, building five to 10 computer classrooms each year in these countries’ remote areas and developing e-learning courses, according to the ministry.
Asustek Computer reportedly is seeking cooperation with Xiaomi’s upstream partners such as earphone designer 1more Design and software designer Cheetah Mobile, to strengthen its smartphone competitiveness, according to sources from the upstream supply chain. Asustek shipped about eight million smartphones in 2014, despite a great improvement from 2013, the company’s performance was still far off compared to Xiaomi, which shipped 61.12 million units in 2014, up 227% from 2013.
TAIPEI, Taiwan — Taiwan’s Asustek Computer Inc. (華碩) wowed shutterbugs with its new ZenFone Zoom at the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on Monday, equipping an Android smartphone with an optical zoom camera. The ZenFone Zoom is the world’s thinnest smartphone to feature a 13-megapixel camera with a 3X optical zoom, which packs a 10-element lens design with up to a 12X digital zoom for even finer close-up detail, Asustek said in a press release.
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.
Asustek Computer just launched the X002 TD-LTE smartphone under its second brand Pegasus in the China market and aims to ship more than 15 million ZenFone series and Pegasus series smartphones in the China market in 2015, according to Taiwan-based supply chain makers. X002 features Android 4.4, MediaTek MT6732 64-bit 1.5GHz quad-core processor, a 5-inch 1,280×720 IPS touch screen, 2GB RAM and 16GB ROM, an 8-megapixel rear camera and a 5-megapixel front camera, a weight of 140g, and is available for sale at a contract-free retail price of CNY799 (US$129), the sources said.
Asustek Computer has launched its Android Wear-based smartwatch, the ZenWatch in Taiwan, priced at NT$5,990 (US$188). Company CEO Jerry Shen pointed out that monthly production capacity for ZenWatch is about 50,000 units, but it is insuffcient to meet the demand. The company plans to launch the second-generation ZenWatch in July 2015 and has been expanding its capacity in order to satisfy strong demand, Shen noted.
TAIPEI — Taiwan’s Asustek Inc. (華碩) is gearing up to grab a larger market share in India after its major Chinese rival in that country, Xiaomi Inc., was barred from selling its handsets there by an Indian court last week for infringing upon technology patented by Ericsson, according to a report by the Commercial Times Sunday. With Xiaomi stopped from selling in India, the report said, Asustek is expected to surpass Xiaomi in terms of units sold in the coming months in the Indian market.
Acer is set to invest heavily in Chromebook development in 2015 with related shipments to grow over 50% on year to reach 4.8 million units. Meanwhile, Asustek Computer is also planning to increase its shipments of inexpensive 11.6-inch Windows-based EeeBook notebooks, and the devices are expected to account for over 30% of the vendor’s overall notebook shipments in 2015, surpassing six million units, according to sources in the upstream supply chain.
In addition to CPUs from Intel, Asustek Computer is said to be planning to develop second-generation ZenFone smartphones using Qualcomm’s solutions for 2015, according to sources from smartphone component makers, which added that Asustek is possibility looking to push Intel to cut prices on its third-generation platform. Asustek declined to comment about the news, while Intel pointed out that it will continue to provide subsidies to partners to help them cut costs.
Lenovo and Asustek are expected to release Chromebooks using Google-certified solutions from China-based Rockchip in the first half of 2015 at the latest, and their devices are expected to be priced at US$149, a new low for notebook products, according to Digitimes Research’s latest finding from the Greater China supply chain. Rockchip is a first-tier tablet application processor (AP) designer in China and has recently cooperated with Intel over chip design and the distribution of Intel’s SoFIA chips.
TAIPEI — Taiwan’s Asustek Computer Inc. (華碩) launched its ZenFone line in Japan Tuesday, making the world’s third largest economy its 14th market for the low-cost smartphones. The product launch in Tokyo, hosted by Asustek Chairman Jonney Shih, also showcased the company’s first wearable device — the ZenWatch. The Taiwanese PC maker said it will begin selling the 4G version of its 5-inch ZenFone 5 in Japan on Nov. 8, with the smartphone compatible ZenWatch expected to go on sale there in late November.
Seeing that Chromebooks are enjoying demand from the education sector, brand vendors such as Dell, Asustek Computer and Lenovo have started becoming aggressive about the market, while Acer, Hewlett-Packard (HP) and Samsung Electronics will also launch new products to defend their market shares, according to sources from the upstream supply chain. Currently, Acer, Samsung and HP together account for over 70% of the Chromebook market, and 80% of the shipments are supplied to the education market, the sources said.
Asustek Computer expects its handset shipments to grow dramatically to 16 million units in 2015, helping its profits from the business line to reach at least NT$2 billion in the year, according to sources from the upstream supply chain. Asustek is expected to ship over eight million handsets in 2014 and the business segment already achieved profitable operation in the third quarter of 2014.
TAIPEI — Asustek Computer Inc. (華碩) has sold more than 1 million ZenFones in Taiwan since the low-cost smartphones debuted in the local market in April, the Taipei-based electronics maker said. Sales have been brisk since the Android-powered series of phones came out on April 8. The company originally estimated that its cell phone business, which has been in the red, could break even and begin showing profits by September, but continued growth in shipments pushed that event forward one month to August.
Asustek Computer expects its handset business to start generating profits in September as well as in the fourth quarter of 2014 after being in the handset segment for over 10 years, according to company CEO Jerry Shen. Rising sales of the company’s ZenFone family products in Taiwan and Southeast Asia, and reduced costs in the purchase of components will enable its handset business to turn profitable, Shen said.
Asustek Computer is set to release its new 7-inch MeMO Pad 7 ME70CX tablet in early September in Taiwan priced at NT$2,990 (US$100) to attract demand, according to the company. Sources from the upstream supply chain pointed out that the MeMO Pad tablets’ aggressive pricing has put strong pressure on Asustek’s competitors, especially white-box vendors, which may start to be phased out of the market in the first half of 2015.