by Anton Shilov
03/07/2011 | 11:17 PM
Asustek Computer, a leading maker of notebooks and various other computer components, believes that Google Android platform has all the chances to beat Apple on the market of tablets. But the success of the platform will be determined by the collective success of all supporters of Android, including hardware and software designers.
"We are pioneers in computers, [Apple] are pioneers with the slates. Our strength lies in the fact that we offer customers a choice. In many respects our devices are more functional; Asus will continue to develop in this direction. [...] The software from Apple is very good and it is hard for us to compete with them. They are ahead with the interface and the ecosystems. We are ahead with the hardware. I think Google has a chance to win with the support of Qualcomm, Nvidia and others in the future, for example, Intel. Apple has its own processor, and it is their weakness. If there is a chance for Google, then there is a chance for use," said Jerry Shen, chief executive officer of Asustek, in an interview with Hiemail@example.com web-site.
The main weakness of Apple is definitely not its custom system-on-chips, such as A4 or A5, or other exclusive technology inside its tablets, notebooks and other devices. The main drawback of Apple is closed ecosystem that competes against numerous other companies that are larger than Apple and that are stronger than Apple. Combined, those companies can develop innovations that Apple simply cannot afford and therefore offer more compelling platforms. On the market of personal computers some 25 - 30 years ago Apple lost the battle because it competed against tens of other companies and even now its global market share - after the success of iPod, iPhone and iPad - is about 5%.
Among the other ambitious plans of Asustek Computer for this year are a tablet with auto-stereoscopic 3D screen, a slate with a quad-core microprocessor as well as netbook with MeeGo operating system.
"We plan to release a tablet with a 7" stereo-3D screen. Just like with our laptops, special glasses to see the three-dimensional effect will be needed. [...] Tablets are now based on dual-core processors, but they will get quad-core chips. [Many-core] chips are needed for video on the first place. In the future we expect to support Full-HD, or even higher and quad-core chips will not playback such video streams smoothly. We do understand that this is not needed by everyone, but many need high-definition video quality on TV. According to our estimates, there will be around 20% [users of tablets who need HD on slates]. Naturally, the increase of resolution can also be felt on the tablet itself," explained Mr. Shen.
In spite of uncertain market prospects, Asustek still has plans to launch a netbook featuring MeeGo operating system by Intel Corp. and other supporters.
"We are actively working with Intel and plan to introduce our first netbook with MeeGo [and Intel Atom processor] in April - June timeframe. Moreover, there will be another Intel Atom-based model with Android. Today, thanks to Windows, netbooks have become mini-laptops. Alternative OS narrow functionality and focus devices on the Internet, which is the original concept of the netbook class, " the CEO of Asus indicated.