Asus sales rise to $3.8bn
Asustek’s latest results confirm that the Taiwan-based company has some reason to feel as optimistic as it does. Its tablet sales, both of the Nexus 7 and its other convertible tabs, are already doing well, and, looking forward, reviewers and analysts have been relative positive on the new Windows 8 devices it launched this week.
A few weeks ago, its competitor Acer reported an 11 per cent fall in revenue, and global PC shipments are down more than 8 per cent this quarter. For the third-quarter, however, Taiwan-based Asus said its sales were up 9.2 per cent year-on-year to NT$111bn ($3.8bn), slightly more than analysts had been expecting. Read more
Some good news for Acer — the PC-maker narrowly edged out Lenovo and HP as the largest notebook PC seller globally last quarter, writes Sarah Mishkin in Taipei.
Narrow here means narrow. Acer now has 15.4 per cent of the market. Tied for second place are Lenovo and HP, which each have 15.3 per cent, according to new research from Gartner. Read more
Smack in the middle of the ultrabook and tablet hoopla from the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas comes a sobering report from the market researchers at IDC: PC shipments in the critical fourth quarter were down 0.2 per cent from a year before. Read more
Nearly ten years to the day since it doubled down on the PC business with the purchase of Compaq, Hewlett-Packard has decided that its shareholders have been through enough. As we and others are reporting, new CEO Leo Apotheker is ready to change course with a PC spin-off and giant software deal that will radically reshape the tech conglomerate. Read more
Laptops are becoming interesting for Arm again, admits its president Tudor Brown, despite the bevy of increasingly powerful Arm-based tablet models shown at this year’s Computex. Read more
Intel’s vision of a new category of ‘Ultrabooks’ that would revolutionise the consumer PC industry has won over at least one important convert.
Speaking at a separate press conference just minutes after Intel’s keynote speech, Ray Chen, president of Taiwan’s Compal, the world’s second-biggest contract PC maker, praised the idea of Ultrabooks and said it would “ignite the next wave of laptop replacements” next year when those new models come onto the market. Read more
Critics like to say that PC makers were slow to recognise the threat from tablets and to respond with their own versions to rival Apple’s iPad.
This narrative may be the popular one, but it underestimates the challenges faced by traditional PC makers in coming up with a competitive and profitable tablet, Henry Lu, senior vice president of Micro-Star International, told the Financial Times. Read more
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
The outlook for consumer PC sales for the rest of the year is getting murkier and murkier. A drop-off in US sales in July, followed by continued weakness in early August despite the traditionally bountiful back-to-school season, has already started ringing alarm bells among analysts.
Now there’s additional evidence, from the world’s biggest notebook casing manufacturer, that any quick uplift in end demand is unlikely . Ju Teng makes the outer shell of a notebook – a manufacturing process that involves more than 300 steps and 400 different materials – for all the world’s top PC brands.
Apple CEO Steve Jobs said on Tuesday night that personal computers running rival Microsoft’s Windows operating system are in a permanent decline and that only a fraction of current users will still rely on them in the future.
In a rare onstage interview at the D: All Things Digital conference, Mr Jobs compared the fate of the PC to trucks in agrarian America. The dominant vehicle when farming was the way most people earned a living, they were vastly outnumbered by cars when the country became more urbanised. Read more
Over the past few years, putting together desktop and notebook computers has not been enough for the Taiwanese contract manufacturers that actually produce the vast majority of the world’s PCs.
Companies like Compal, Wistron and Hon Hai – relatively unknowns names that brands like HP, Dell and Acer rely on to do the actual manufacturing – have all looked towards TV assembly as the next big driver for growth, particularly as Japanese brands like Sony and Toshiba are increasingly finding it too expensive to manage their own manufacturing operations.
The FT’s Lex column says that it was high time Lenovo’s optimistic investors were brought back to earth, and that fixing the PC company’s struggling international operations will not be easy:
Founder Liu Chuanzhi, who returned as chairman in February, started by axing 2,500 overseas jobs in a bid to shave about 15 per cent from annual operating costs. But that’s the easy bit.