by Anton Shilov
02/27/2008 | 06:47 PM
Asustek Computer’s Asus Eee PC is popular across the whole world because of the price and support of features that end-users utilize most of the time. But this popularity is disturbing, claims Sony, a producer of high-end mobile machines, as when users stop to buy innovation, they start to buy commodity products
“If Asus [Eee PC] starts to do well, we are all in trouble. That’s just a race to the bottom,” said Mike Abary, senior vice president of Sony’s information technology products division, Cnet News.com web-site reports.
At present Asus Eee PCs are available for $299 - $499 in retail and can offer users very basic functionality along with performance that would hardly satisfy a tech-savvy or even advanced mainstream user. Nevertheless, being widely available, Asus Eee PC mobile computers prove to be rather popular across the world. Following the success of Asus Eee several other Taiwan-based manufacturers said they were planning to intro similar machines in 2008.
Unfortunately, it is not precisely clear who exactly acquires such entry-level machines: students, enthusiasts, mainstream users or consumers in emerging markers.
Sony produces and sells relatively expensive desktop and notebook computers with certain limitations, but those machines often feature capabilities not available on personal computers from other manufacturers. Competing makers of various PCs also try to offer even higher performance amid something exclusive, which attracts attention and moves the progress forward, perhaps, at a price. More importantly, Asustek Computer does the same with its high-end notebooks.
“Traditional PCs are too powerful, no matter in the home or office; we are seeing quad-core rising with octo-core coming in the near future, and the more cores in a CPU, the more memory the system needs. Is all this really necessary? With the Eee PC we decided to go back to basics, to bring the focus to just functions and reasonable price levels,” said said Jonney Shih, chief executive of Asustek, in an interview last November.
Given the message that Asustek has been sending about Eee, it is unlikely that there are clear skies for the Eee products and the brand itself: hardly a lot of people would like to go back to basics from currently available crystal-clear photos, high-definition videos, high-quality games and some other quality features that exist as a result of performance improvements.
Moreover, what if all computer manufacturers start to offer systems that miss the progress like the deserts miss the rain at delicious price points and without much concern about profit margins? Maybe, if they are lucky enough, some will fight back all the money that were spent on the development. But whether they are able to offer another system radically better compared to a previous one is uncertain.