When Taiwan’s Quanta landed orders from Facebook and Google to help custom-build their data centres earlier this year, it was the first step into a new industry for the world’s biggest contract maker of notebooks.

Quanta chairman Barry Lam’s said on Monday, however, that his ambitions go further than just completing built-to-order projects for tech companies. Quanta will instead look to offer a full turnkey solution for servers, he said for the first time. It is a move that will put it into direct competition with industry leaders like HP, Dell, IBM and Sun Microsystems. Read more

HTC has had an amazing run as it grew from anonymity to one of the top Android phonemakers. This has been reflected in its shipments, which have been record-breaking for the Taiwanese company for each of the last six quarters.

But is that run about to end, amid intensifying competition and a weak global economy? HTC said on Monday that it expects fourth-quarter shipments, and revenues, to be down slightly from the third quarter. Read more

Over the past decade, technological advancements have made televisions thinner and thinner, with giant cathode ray tube sets replaced by flatscreen TVs whose thickness are now measured in millimeters.

Starting next year, however, ‘fatter’ flatscreen TVs may be making a comeback in emerging markets, according to one screen maker.

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When HTC chief executive Peter Chou said this month that he was on the lookout for further acquisitions, he wasn’t kidding. The Taiwanese smartphone company on Tuesday announced it had acquired Inquisitive Minds, a US company that developed Zoodles, a kids-friendly browser designed to give children a safe browsing environment. Read more

Google announced on Wednesday that it is spending more than $200m to build its first proprietary data centres in Asia, a move that reflects the growth in demand for internet and cloud-based services in the region.

These are not, of course, Google’s first servers in Asia, though they are the first in the region where Google is publicly disclosing their locations. They will also be the first that Google will build from the ground up, from acquiring the land to designing the customised servers. Read more

If MiCloud had been launched this week in the US, it would have been just the latest entrant into the growing market of cloud-based services aimed at developers and small companies, a la Amazon’s Elastic Computing Cloud.

But the venture, a joint effort by MiTAC, one of the world’s biggest IT distribution and systems integrators, and Joyent, whose cloud services power LinkedIn, had its debut in Taiwan. There, it makes the claim of being the island’s first public cloud service. Read more

It is no secret that HTC is keen to move beyond hardware manufacturing to online services and content – it had earlier acquired or partnered with, variously, a games provider (OnLive), a mobile video specialist (Saffron Digital), an e-books company (Kobo), and a music streaming service (Taiwan’s KKBox).

But its ambitions may range further still. Cher Wang, HTC chairwoman, recently revealed for the first time that the Taiwanese smartphone maker had considered acquiring a mobile operating platform. Read more

Taiwan’s Asus has been a keen early supporter of Intel’s ‘Ultrabooks’, with chairman Jonney Shih appearing on stage with Sean Maloney, head of Intel China, to make the announcement and show off the first model in May.

The vision was for these thin, responsive notebooks to revolutionise the traditional PC industry, which has come under increasing challenge from smartphones and tablets. Intel’s ambition is for ultrabooks to make up 40 per cent of the consumer notebook PC market by the end of next year.

Yet the reality, Asus’ chief executive Jerry Shen said on Friday, is that a 40 per cent share is “a very aggressive target that would be difficult to meet before 2013”. Read more

Reverberations from HP’s announcement that it intends to shed its PC business, the world’s biggest by volume, is being felt far and wide across the global IT industry. While no clear buyer has yet emerged, executives in the PC supply chain, analysts and even government officials are all trying to make sense of its impact.

Nowhere is this search for answers more urgent than in Taiwan, where much of the world’s PC supply chain resides. HP’s computers are assembled by Hon Hai, Quanta, Inventec and Wistron, all Taiwanese companies. Read more

Acer boosted its cloud computing capabilities on Thursday by announcing that it plans to spend $320m to acquire iGware, a US cloud computing company whose technology powers Nintendo’s WiFi Connection. Read more