Wed, Jun 18, 2014 - Page 13 News List

Mobile revenue to exceed PC sales by 2017: Asustek

Staff writer, with CNA

Asustek Computer Inc (華碩) said yesterday that its mobile business revenue would likely exceed revenue from PC sales by 2017 as the world’s fifth-largest PC vendor works to transform itself into a mobile company.

Asustek chairman Jonney Shih (施崇棠) said at an annual meeting with shareholders that the company continues to lead the industry with better products developed through the efforts of Asustek employees.

“However, due to the converging competition in computers, tablets and mobile phones we need to improve product value, scale up operations and carry out more effective marketing and communications to enter the three-in-one battlefield,” Shih said.

In terms of product management, Asustek will try to refine its PC-related operations, including expanding its brand advantage and the economic scale of its motherboards, notebook computers and desktop computers, Shih said.

The company will also focus on the development of the smartphone business this year and intends to strengthen its product innovation, marketing, and channel partners to lay the groundwork for long-term growth of the mobile phone business, he said.

As a result, Shih predicted that Asustek’s revenue generated from its mobile business — including smartphones and tablets — would likely surpass revenue from PC products by 2017.

In addition to maintaining its product leadership, Asustek will also focus on “marketing” and “quality” this year and invest in the two areas over the long term to drive future growth, he said.

To strengthen its marketing, Asustek will try to communicate more effectively with consumers through more diversified channels and flexible approaches, he said.

Last year, the company’s consolidated revenue was NT$463.3 billion (US$15.4 billion), up 3 percent from 2012.

However, the company’s net income fell 5 percent year-on-year to NT$21.4 billion.

The Taipei-based company told investors last month that it hoped to ship 5 million to 10 million smartphones this year before doubling shipments next year and again in 2016.

Though Asustek generated a loss of more than NT$1 billion in its smartphone business last year on shipments of only 1.5 million units, the company still expects the division to break even in the fourth quarter of this year thanks to an expanding scale of shipments.

Meanwhile, the company is developing robots as part of its long-term vision to build a smart and friendly digital living environment for consumers, Shih said.

Asustek considers the development of robots to be a crucial part of its vision for the future because smart robots have emerged as an important new technology around the world, he said.

The company has spent considerable time at its Da Vinci innovation laboratory testing robots that can interact with children and has participated in several national research projects on robots, he said, declining to reveal when the company will launch the robots or how much they will cost.

“Someday in the future, devices themselves will have intelligence and be able to cooperate with people to offer better services in various occasions,” Shih said.

Shareholders yesterday approved the company’s plan to distribute a cash dividend of NT$19.5 per common share, the highest in the company’s history.

With earnings per share of NT$28.9 for last year, the proposed dividend represents a payout ratio of 67.5 percent.

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