Asustek Computer has been working hard to capture part of the high-end personal computer market, but the real success for the company was low-cost Asus Eee PC netbook series. Now that the company has gained brand recognition, it wants to build products that outshine those from Apple, a well-known provider of stylish systems.
“Our goal is to provide products that are better than Apple’s. […] Before, we have been too conservative. We need to do better communications with the customers to let them know Asus is not only an Asian company,” said Jonathan Tsang, the vice chairman of Asustek, in an interview with the New York Times.
Even though Asustek does not sell trendy portable digital media players or cell phones, it already has expensive and stylish laptops in its lineup. For example, Asus has laptops with bamboo or leather covers in its product family, something rather unique. However, unlike Apple, Asustek does not develop its own software, hence, has to rely on Microsoft Windows or various Linux variations, which somewhat limits its abilities to demonstrate its exclusiveness. But Asustek hopes that further engineering innovation will attract attention to its products.
“Asustek spends tons of money on engineering, which leaves little left over for sweeping marketing campaigns. […] Asustek will continue trying to win over consumers with more innovative designs,” added Mr. Tsang.
One of the ways for Asustek to show its unique hardware capabilities is to create products that no one else thinks about. In order to get new ideas, Asus teamed up with chip designer Intel Corp. and launched WePC.com web-site where end-users may share their own PC design ideas, a great way to discover unique personal computers of the future.
But while Asustek can build rather interesting hardware, it still needs to translate them into sales. So far Acer Group, which does not offer unique designs, has managed to significantly outpace Asus in terms of sales thanks to better market channels. At present the Taiwan-based Asus believes that quick innovation will help it not only close the gap with Acer, but also to create more innovative products than Apple. But in order win the battle against the latter, Asustek Computer will have to enter software and services businesses too.
“Acer has a larger channel, and people know Acer more than Asus. That is the reality, and we need to face it. But we will keep running faster. They may pick up on our products after half a year, but then we will have another product and another one,” said Mr. Tsang.