Taiwan wearable device makers shift production focus to smartwatches

TaiwanTaiwan-based wearable device makers, including Mitac International, Papago, Holux Technology and GlobalSat Worldcom, have recently shifted focus to develop smartwatches instead of smart bracelets as China-based rivals have strengthened their respective bracelet product lines, which has resulted fierce price competition, according to sources in Taiwan’s supply chain. Differences among smart bracelets have become narrow. Bracelets perform mainly as a pedometer, sleep recorder and smart alarm clock, and prices range from US$50-100. However, the release of Xiaomi bracelets has triggered a steep fall in prices to as low as US$20-30.


Asustek unveils smartwatch with its own ‘Kood’ OS

TaiwanAsustek on Thursday launched its second smartwatch in the Taiwan market, highlighting its own Kood operating system that allows longer battery life. Thanks to a lower power requirement than Google’s Android Wear OS, the Kood system gives the fitness-centric VivoWatch a battery life of 10 days, Asustek said. The VivoWatch features a 123mAh battery, much smaller than the 369mAh battery used in Asustek’s Android Wear-based ZenWatch, which lasts up to two days on a single charge.


Asustek looking to ship 30 million ZenFone smartphones in 2015

TaiwanAsustek Computer has reportedly raised its internal shipment forecast for its ZenFone-series smartphones for 2015 from 25 million units originally to 30 million, according to sources from the upstream supply chain. Shipments of Asustek’s new ZenFone 2-series smartphones will reach two million units in May after their launch in March, indicated the sources, adding that the monthly shipments will rise to 2.5-3 million units in June.


Asustek looking to produce handsets in India: report

IndiaTaiwan’s Asustek is considering producing handsets in India to cash in on the world’s third-biggest smartphone market under the government’s “Make in India” initiative, according to an Indian business daily. “With the new government policies, we do see some benefits of manufacturing devices in India,” Peter Chang, country manager at Asustek India, was quoted in a report Monday by the Economic Times in India.


Japan market: Asustek ZenFone 5 ranks as top-selling model for fifth month, says report

JapanAsustek Computer’s ZenFone 5 smartphone has been the top-selling model in Japan’s SIM-free segment for the fifth consecutive month since its debut in the market in November 2014, according to data compiled by Japan-based market research firm BCN. However, the differences of market share among the top-five vendors in the SIM-free smartphone segment have been narrowed significantly, with Asustek seeing its share drop to 24.5% in March 2015, form 43% in Novmber 2014, BCN said.


Asustek set to become Google’s top OEM partner

TaiwanTaiwanese electronics manufacturer Asustek is to become Google’s closest partner given its full Chrome-series products including laptops, desktop PCs, and the new HDMI sticks called Chromebit, reports our Chinese-language sister paper Commercial Times. The company launched a Chromebook known as the Chromebook Flip at the beginning of April. It is a convertible laptop and tablet allowing users to bend the 10.1-inch touchscreen and use the laptop as tablet. Chromebook Flip uses a Rockchip processor and will be available before the end of June with prices starting at US$249.


Asustek ZenFone 2 pre-orders to reach 1 million units in China, says media

TaiwanPre-orders for Asustek Computer’s ZenFone 2 smartphones in China are expected to reach one million units in the two weeks prior to the official launch set on April 7, according to media reports in China. Buoyed by the pre-orders, Asustek has raised its shipment target to China for 2015 to 7.5-8 million units, said the reports. Asustek shipped only 600,000-700,000 units of its first-generation ZenFone to China in 2014.


Asustek ZenFone 2 pre-orders to reach 1 million units in China, says media

China.gifPre-orders for Asustek Computer’s ZenFone 2 smartphones in China are expected to reach one million units in the two weeks prior to the official launch set on April 7, according to media reports in China. Buoyed by the pre-orders, Asustek has raised its shipment target to China for 2015 to 7.5-8 million units, said the reports. Asustek shipped only 600,000-700,000 units of its first-generation ZenFone to China in 2014.


Asustek, Acer launch Chrome devices

TaiwanComputer suppliers Asustek Computer Inc (華碩) and Acer Inc (宏碁) are deepening their collaboration with Google Inc, with plans to start shipping new Chrome-based computers and devices this quarter. The two Taiwanese firms are some of the global PC brands that have been working with the US search engine giant to design lightweight laptops running on the Chrome operating system since 2011, as Google steps up its challenge to Microsoft Corp in the market for low-priced computers.


Asustek to add fingerprint ID function to ZenFone in 2H15, says paper

TaiwanAsustek Computer is planning to add fingerprint identification functionality to its ZenFone smartphones in the second half, at the soonest and the function will become a default feature for the ZenFone 3 in 2016, according to a Chinese-language Apple Daily report citing company president Jerry Shen as saying. Asustek’s new inexpensive smartphones for China will also feature the function in the second half of the year.


China market: Asustek launches new ZenFone smartphone

ChinaAsustek Computer has launched its second-generation ZenFone smartphone in China with pricing starting at CNY1,299 (US$209) and the device is expected to pose a strong threat to China-based Xiaomi’s flagship product, according to a Chinese-language Economic Daily News(EDN) report. For 2015, Asustek is looking to ship 25-30 million smartphones worldwide and sell four million units in China to become a top-10 smartphone vendor in the country, the report noted.


Asustek recruiting new blood for emerging businesses

TaiwanAsustek Computer is planning to hire 1,000 new employees in 2015 starting March as the company has been aggressively expanding its emerging businesses such as Internet of things (IoT) and wearable devices. Asustek currently has about 10,000 employees worldwide. Asustek will recruit new talent in both Taiwan and China and will focus on hiring marketing staff and R&D technicians and target mainly college graduates.


Asustek begins marketing second-generation ZenFone smartphones

TaiwanAsustek Computer will start marketing its next generation ZenFone-series smartphones in Taiwan from March 9, according to the company. The new ZenFone 2 smartphones will be also available in China, Hong Kong, Singapore and France in March and in India, Italy and other Southeast Asia markets in April and in Brazil in June. Asustek’s smartphone shipments hit a record high of 8.5 million units in 2014, higher than the company’s target of eight million units.


Asustek may leave Android Wear behind on future smartwatch with extended battery life

TaiwanTAIPEI–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 sees decreased 4Q14 profit

TaiwanAsustek 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%.


Asustek 2014 Q4 net income plummets on exchange losses

TaiwanTAIPEI — 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.


HTC and other vendors to launch non-Android Wear smart devices

apac 2Although 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.


MOFA names Asustek ‘Friend of Foreign Service’

TaiwanTAIPEI — 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 seeking partnerships with Xiaomi supply chain

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.


Asustek ZenFone Zoom comes with 3X optical zoom feature

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.