If there was still any doubt that events have taken a definite turn for the worse for PC makers since the end of last year, February revenue numbers from the world’s biggest contract manufacturers should put them to rest.
Hon Hai, maker of Apple products (and also desktops for Dell), saw revenues fall by 18 per cent month-on-month. Taiwan’s Compal and Quanta, the top two contract notebook makers, saw revenues decline by 18 per cent and 22 per cent, respectively, compared to January. All came in well below analysts’ expectations. Read more
Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC clearly did not take Chinese New Year off. On the first day after public holidays ended, HTC announced it had made two investments that could expand its online offerings.
The first is buying a US$40m stake in OnLive, the company offering console-style games over the internet. The second is a GBP30m acquisition of Saffron Digital, a London-based mobile video specialist. Read more
Powerchip, Taiwan’s biggest D-Ram company, said on Monday it was exiting the commodity PC D-Ram market in favour of making more specialised chips used in mobile computing devices such as tablets and smartphones.
Frank Huang, chairman, said his company would wind down its business of selling PC D-Ram chips under the Powerchip brand. Instead, Powership would become a contract manufacturer of PC D-Ram chips for long-time partner Elpida of Japan, the world’s third biggest D-Ram company. Read more
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, the world’s biggest contract chipmaker, has for the first time laid out its roadmap for moving to bigger silicon discs to drive down chip manufacturing costs.
The world’s biggest chipmaker said on Thursday that it plans to have a trial production line using 18-inch wafers ready by 2013 or 2014. Full production would begin in 2015 or 2016. Read more
Taiwan’s Asus, whose Eee PC introduced the concept of netbooks to the world, has been closely watched over the past year for any signs that tablets were hurting netbook sales.
Asus, however, has said it remain dedicated to netbooks (while also introducing its own tablets and e-readers this year) and vice-president Samson Hu on Wednesday offered a cautiously upbeat prognosis on the future of the mini-notebooks. Read more
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, the world’s biggest contract chipmaker, and Nvidia, the graphics chipmaker, on Thursday announced they have together produced 1 billion GeForce graphics processors. An impressive milestone, but it comes at a time when winds of change are blowing through both the contract chipmaking and the graphics card industry. Read more
For a sign of how quickly touchscreens are gaining in popularity on devices ranging from smartphones and tablets to all-in-one PCs, one need look no further than the recent fortunes of Taiwan’s Wintek, one of the world’s biggest suppliers of touchscreen modules. Read more
Every time a new category of mobile device emerges, network operators have sought to grab a bigger slice of the pie by cutting out branded manufacturers and selling their own-branded gadgets. The first Android-based smartphone, for example, was manufactured by Taiwan’s HTC but was better known as the T-Mobile G1.
It was therefore only a matter of time before this dynamic was extended to tablets. Taiwan’s Vibo Telecom, a 3G operator with 1.8 million subscribers, was among the first to take that step when it launched its 7-inch, Android-based Vibo Vpad this month. Read more
Given how much consumers seem to resent donning a pair of glasses to enjoy 3D content on televisions screens, manufacturers around the world are working hard towards the day when special eyewear is no longer needed.
That day just got closer with Taiwan’s AU Optronics, one of the world’s biggest flat-panel producers, announcing on Wednesday a glasses-less, all-angle viewing 3D panels. Read more
What Acer’s clear.fi does is, unfortunately for their marketing people, not easy to explain clearly. We took a shot at doing so when Acer first announced it in May, and on Friday it was JT Wang, Acer chairman’s turn at the world’s number two PC maker’s third quarter results conference.
Clear.fi, which automatically sets up a local area network between Acer devices, is intended to make it easy for users to access their photos and videos across different Acer products. It is such a big part of Acer’s new push to add software and services to their core hardware offerings that it will be installed on every single device Acer ships starting next year. Read more