Fri, Dec 17, 2010 - Page 12 News List

Asustek Computer Inc gambles on fast growing smartphone market in China

By Jason Tan  /  Staff reporter

After scrapping its co-brand strategy with Garmin Ltd in the US, Asustek Computer Inc (華碩電腦) is aiming to make a comeback by securing a foothold in China’s fast-growing smartphone market.

The company is currently -liaising with China Mobile Ltd (中國移動), the world’s largest mobile operator by number of subscribers, in hopes that the latter will agree to bundle Asustek’s new smartphones into its service plans, Asustek corporate vice president Benson Lin (林宗樑) said yesterday.

He said a deal has almost been sealed between the two parties and that Asustek is betting on a booming Chinese appetite for smartphones by tailoring models that run China’s proprietary 3G standard — TD-SCDMA.

After a two-year-long partnership, Asustek will officially scrap its co-brand strategy with the US’ -No. 1 portable navigation devices maker Garmin next month after attempts to lure users with Garmin’s navigation services failed to impress.

“How Asustek smartphones are able to regain a foothold in the smartphone market and how to boost brand awareness are our top priorities for next year,” Lin said.

Lin added that Asustek’s smartphone shipments for this year would be “near” its earlier target of 1 million units, but refused to reveal specific figures for next year.

“Launching smartphones that ‘wow’ users is more important ... Our shipments are minor compared to others,” he said.

HTC Corp (宏達電), the world’s No. 5 smartphone maker, is seeking to double its handset shipments to 50 million next year, while Acer Inc (宏碁) aims to ship 5 million smartphones next year, up from this year’s 2 million to 3 million.

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