Asustek Computer Inc (華碩), the world’s No. 5 PC brand, yesterday said its upcoming UX series Ultrabook platform would fail to carry price tags of less than US$1,000, as claimed by Intel Corp.
“Unless we use Intel Core i3 chips [the Ultrabooks will not be less than US$1,000]. The price tags will have to go beyond US$1,000 if [more advanced] i5 and i7 chips go into the notebooks,” a person familiar with UX development said.
The UX series will mainly use i5 and i7 to boost performance, he said.
Photo Courtsey of ASUS
The i5 and i7 chips, which are more expensive, plus the operating system and solid-state hard drives would account for about 50 percent of the cost of the ultraslim notebooks, thus driving up the price of the UX series to between US$1,000 and US$2,000, he said.
The UX series, showcased by Asustek at the Computex tech trade fair in late May, aims to rival MacBook Air from Apple Inc.
The UX series has two models — one is 11.6 inches and weighs 1.1kg, while the other is 13.3 inches and weighs 1.3kg.
Intel touted the Ultrabook platform at Computex, saying it would make notebooks thinner, lighter and more affordable, with price tags of less than US$1,000, while adding that battery life would last longer than 10 hours.
Asustek is likely to be the first vendor to debut Ultrabooks. The person said it was on track for a debut in Taiwan in late September.
Other companies, such as Acer Inc (宏碁) and Hewlett-Packard Co, reportedly plan to roll out Ultrabooks by the end of the year.
The person’s comments echoed those of Asustek general sales manager Kevin Lin (林福能), who said earlier this month that the price tags for the UX series would go above US$1,000 based on various specs.
Daiwa Capital Market’s analyst Calvin Huang (黃文堯) said on July 13 that Intel was merely cutting prices for its low-voltage processors to help thin and light notebooks make a comeback.
However, in Huang’s view, Intel’s help might not be enough because to make an Ultrabook, other more advanced and expensive components — such as ultrathin panels, solid-state hard drives, metal casings, high-density interconnect and polymer batteries — are required to make it comparable to the MacBook Air.
Separately, Fitch Ratings yesterday upgraded Asustek’s long-term foreign currency issuer default rating to “BBB” from “BB+” and its national long-term rating to “A+(twn)” from “A-(twn),” with a stable outlook.
“The upgrade reflects Asustek’s increase in market share and significant improvements to its -financial profile. The company’s focus on quality and innovation is gradually translating into market share gains and growing customer loyalty,” Fitch analyst Kevin Chang (張崇人) said in an e-mailed statement.
Asustek, which pioneered the mini-size notebook PC — also known as a netbook — market in 2009, is also the world’s largest provider of PC motherboards and graphic cards.
PLANNED OUT: The government is lifting sale and export restrictions on 60% of the 20 million masks made daily, but people can still make purchases using their NHI cards Twenty thousand boxes of 50 masks each would be on sale at FamilyMart convenience stores starting tomorrow, Taiwan FamilyMart Co Ltd (全家便利商店) said yesterday. A box of 50 masks would cost NT$249 for those with FamilyMart memberships and NT$299 for those without, with no limits placed on how many boxes a person can buy, the company said. Convenience store chain operator Hi-Life International Co Ltd (萊爾富) said that it would also start selling masks from tomorrow. It has yet to announce details about prices and quantity. Hypermarket chain operator Carrefour Taiwan (家樂福) said that it would start selling packs of five
BOOSTING BUYING: A source said that the idea of pre-ordering vouchers online is being considered, but the preliminary plan is for people to buy them at post offices A stimulus voucher program to be rolled out next month to boost consumption would be available not only to Taiwanese, but also foreign nationals and Chinese spouses who hold residency permits, a source familiar with the matter said yesterday. The government is fine-tuning the details of the program, which involves issuing vouchers for in-store purchases to revive buying amid the COVID-19 pandemic. During a radio interview on Monday last week, National Development Council (NDC) Minister Kung Ming-hsin (龔明鑫) said that the plan is to allow anyone, regardless of age or income level, to buy NT$3,000 (US$99.89) worth of vouchers for
Delta Electronics Inc (台達電), the nation’s leading power management solutions provider, has signed an agreement to acquire Canadian software firm Trihedral Engineering Ltd to bolster its smart production efforts, it said on Saturday. Delta said in a statement that it would acquire Trihedral for C$45 million (US$32.68 million) through its 100 percent-owned subsidiary Delta Electronics (Netherlands) BV. Trihedral specializes in supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) and industrial Internet of Things software, which would strengthen Delta’s hardware offerings in fast-growing areas such as automation, artificial intelligence and data analytics, it said. “The collection, monitoring and analyzing of data are critical to Delta’s two
‘ONE-STOP SHOP’: A Miaoli official said that the factory in the Jhunan section of the Hsinchu Science Park would create more than 1,000 jobs and boost prosperity A new high-end IC packaging and testing plant planned by contract chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) in Miaoli County is expected to start operations in the middle of next year, Miaoli County Commissioner Hsu Yao-chang (徐耀昌) said. Hsu wrote on Facebook that TSMC, the world’s largest pure wafer foundry operator, would invest NT$303.2 billion (US$10.1 billion) to build the plant, the largest-ever single investment in Taiwan. However, TSMC declined to disclose the financial terms of the deal, while a company board meeting on May 12 approved a spending plan worth NT$168.2 billion as part of its investment plans. Construction of the