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.
A LOT of chatter about the convergence of smartphones and tablets. There is a term now for phones with bloated screens: “phablet.” One company is going in a new direction altogether with a device called the PadFone. The PadFone X is not necessarily a completely new form factor, but rather both devices at once. It combines a 5-inch phone that can be docked to a 9-inch tablet.
There is a lot of chatter in the tech community about the convergence of smartphones and tablets. There is a term now for phones with bloated screens: “phablet.” One company is going in a new direction altogether with a device called the PadFone. The PadFone X is not neccessarily a completely new form factor, but rather both devices at once. It combines a 5-inch phone that can be docked to a 9-inch tablet. The thinking seems to be, “Why use a phone that is as big as a tablet and won’t easily fit into my pocket, and how much does it suck to use a phone for things a tablet could accomplish much easier with its larger screen?”
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.