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Asustek Joins Hands with VIA on Developing Budget-priced Tablets

2012/12/11 | By Steve Chuang

Taipei, Dec. 11, 2012 (CENS)--To achieve its sales goal of 12 million tablet PCs in 2013, Asusteck Computer Inc., one of the world's top five PC brand vendors, has decided to join hands with VIA Technologies Inc., a Taiwan-based processor maker, on developing budget-priced 7-inch models for sale exclusively in China, according to industry sources.

The tablet PC model, the sources said, adopts VIA's ARM Cortex A9 processor, and will be retailed at a unit price of US$99-149 starting in the Lunar New Year season in China in 2013. Allegedly, Wistron Corp., one of the world's top four laptop manufacturers, is contracted to make the device, and is scheduled to start delivery at the end of December. Initial shipment will reach 2-3 million units.

Benefiting from hot sales of Nexus 7, which is developed in cooperation with Google, Asustek is expected to attain annual tablet PC shipment of 6 million units, including its Transformer family, in 2012. This boosts the Taiwanese firm's confidence of challenging the world's No.2 tablet PC supplier with a shipment objective of 12 million units in 2013.

Based on global sales of Nexus 7 to reach 7-8 million units in 2013, market observers indicated that Asustek will have to ship 4 million units more of other models by itself to achieve the said shipment goal. Therefore, its decision to work with VIA on promoting low-priced 7-inch tablet PCs makes sense, as prices of such models have hit a bottom, which, in turn, will help this Taiwanese PC vendor to drive up its overall shipment volume more easily than before, despite fierce competition against Samsung and Lenovo besides Apple.

According to market reports, global sales of 7-inch tablet PCs contribute about 18 million units to the total in 2012, and will likely surge to 50 million units in 2013 mainly thanks to the launch of iPad Mini.