Asustek Computer Inc (華碩) yesterday said its product design division recently began work on wearable device projects to explore new markets that could offset the drop in sales of traditional PCs.
“Development of wearable tech devices is a new field, and it is a critical one because there are boundless possibilities in this new market,” Asustek chairman Johnny Shih (施崇棠) told reporters on the sidelines of the company’s annual shareholders’ meeting in New Taipei City (新北市).
As the development of wearable devices is still in the early stages, “the key challenge for Asustek will be how the company could take a lead role in wearable tech devices and maintain it once they become mainstream products,” Shih said.
“We believe the prospects for wearable devices are promising,” Shih said. “As Asustek aims to grasp every opportunity that pushes us to continue making innovative products, we want to enter this field as well.”
Its wearable devices would combine both personal computing technology and biotechnology, he said, adding that they might feature flexible displays and voice-control user interfaces.
The company, the world’s fifth-largest PC brand by shipments, is following in the footsteps of Google Inc and Apple Inc in pursuing wearable devices. In addition, Acer Inc (宏碁), Japan’s Sony Corp and South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co began developing “smartwatches” earlier this year.
Meanwhile, the company told shareholders that its consolidated revenue this quarter was estimated to drop about 10 percent quarter-on-quarter because of fewer-than-expected notebook and tablet shipments in April and last month.
Notebook shipments are expected to be about 4.23 million units for this quarter, down from an estimate of 4.8 million units, while tablet shipments look set to drop to 2.7 million units from the previous forecast of 2.8 million units.
Last month, executives told an investors’ conference that total sales and shipments this quarter were likely to remain flat from those in the first quarter.
However, revenue is expected to pick up from the third quarter of the year and total sales during the second half of the year will reach NT$250 billion (US$8.39 billion), driven by shipments of new products from next quarter, Asustek chief financial officer David Chang (張偉明) said yesterday.
The annual shipment target for notebooks was between 20 million and 25 million units, and 12 million units for tablets, Chang said.