Craig Simons at the Austin-American Statesmen has written an extensive article talking about how some Taiwan companies that were previously known for making laptops, systemboards, components, etc., for larger PC makers are starting to break out on their own, selling products under their own brands, that they designed. Craig gives a prominent mention to Asustek’s 7″ Asus Eee PC in regards to Asustek’s fortunes and strategy and helping them to become the ninth-largest computer maker in the world.
Excerpt from the article:
Until recently, few Americans had heard of Asustek Computer Inc., a Taiwanese company that labored anonymously as the world’s top producer of motherboards, the main circuit boards for PCs.
But last year, a simple idea propelled the company into the global spotlight: build a lightweight notebook computer that retails for about $350 and can connect to the Internet, produce documents and allow simple gaming.
Along with growing sales from other notebook computers, the Eee PC (for “easy to learn, easy to play, easy to work”) has helped Asustek more than double its share of global computer sales since 2005, making it the world’s ninth-largest computer maker.
The rise of Asustek, which markets computers under the brand name Asus, highlights a growing challenge to industry leaders including Dell and Hewlett-Packard.
As profit margins for contract manufacturing have shrunk, Taiwanese contract manufacturers responsible for making most of the world’s personal computers have leveraged their manufacturing strengths to market their own brands, a trend that has increased competition across the industry, analysts said.
Acer, the most successful Taiwanese computer brand, surpassed China’s Lenovo in the fourth quarter last year to become the world’s third-largest PC vendor. Last October, Acer executives bought computer retailer Gateway for $710 million, a move designed to boost sales in the United States.