Tue, Aug 01, 2006 - Page 12 News List

Asustek aiming to overtake Dell Inc

GLOBAL BRAND Already Taiwan's top-ranked laptop vendor, Asustek is confident of passing Dell in the Asia-Pacific region with sales forecast to hit 1 million for the year

By Jason Tan  /  STAFF REPORTER

Asustek Computer Inc (華碩電腦), the world's largest motherboard maker, stands a good chance of beating Dell Inc to become the fourth-largest notebook brand in the Asia-Pacific region in the second half of the year, a company executive said yesterday.

"Asustek is the fastest growing notebook brand in the region. We nearly grabbed the No. 4 spot in the second quarter," Benson Lin (林宗樑), general manager of sales and marketing in the Asia-Pacific region and the Middle East, told reporters.

According to Lin, Asustek is aiming for the No. 4 spot in the second half of the year, as the company's portable computers have been well received in markets such as China, Thailand, Australia and New Zealand.

The company sold around 450,000 laptops in Asia during the first half of the year and expected the total figure to reach 1 million by the end of the year, up from 630,000 last year.

Asustek is trailing behind Dell in Asia, with the top three spots claimed by China's Lenovo Group Ltd (聯想), the US' Hewlett-Packard Co and Taiwan's Acer Inc, Lin said.

He added that Asustek's growth figure in Asia could be higher this year, were it not for the slower growth in the Taiwanese market. As Asustek is already the leading vendor in the country, it is hard for the company to aggressively expand its market share and post strong revenue growth given a high base of comparison.

The latest figures from the Taiwan unit of International Data Corp showed that in the first quarter of the year, Asustek ranked first in Taiwan by selling 66,000 laptops, accounting for 42 percent of the market.

It was followed by Acer with 42,500 units, or a 27 percent share, while Lenovo placed third with 12,400 units, or a 7.9 percent share, the data showed.

Lin noted that sales in the second quarter proved particularly "tough, with most computer retailers reporting flat sales compared with last year."

Issues such as rising consumer bad debt from cash and credit-card abuse constrained buying enthusiasm, he said. In volume terms, Asustek still saw a 30 percent increase in shipments in the second quarter from a year earlier to nearly 60,000 laptops.

The company hoped to maintain sales in the third quarter at last year's level of more than 80,000 units, as these three months would represent the seasonal peak, driven by back-to-school sales and a handful of computer shows.

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