Laptop maker Asustek Computer Inc (華碩) yesterday said it was unable to keep up with demand for its low-cost Eee PC series primarily as a result of limited battery supplies, but said it would retain its shipment target of 5 million units for this year.
As Asustek cannot produce enough units to meet demand for the low-cost laptop, it is forced to put its plan of introducing the product into more markets temporarily on hold, said Lillian Lin (
Asustek sells the Eee PC series in most Asian countries and parts of Europe including Germany and Britain.
"Batteries are the main factor. Most notebook makers have been affected by [the factory fire at supplier] LG. We are working on it," Lin said.
Lin made the remarks on the sidelines of a product launch for the company's Microsoft Windows Eee PC, which went on sale in January in Japan.
Prices for the Windows Eee PC start at NT$12,499 for a model with a 4 gigabyte solid state drive (SSD). Prices for Eee PCs running Linux and equipped with a 2 gigabyte SSD start at NT$7,999.
Lin declined to say whether Asustek would miss its target of shipping 700,000 Eee PCs in the first quarter as a result of the battery problem.
A fire halted battery production at a LG Chem Ltd plant earlier this month. LG is South Korea's No.2 notebook battery maker.
Asustek chairman Jonney Shih (
The goal to ship 5 million units is still achievable as growth momentum is quite strong, Shih said.
In June, Asustek plans to unveil a next-generation Eee PC with an 8.9-inch liquid-crystal-display (LCD) screen in Taiwan, the company said.
The larger-screen Eee PC will come in both Linux and Microsoft versions, it said.
"People are recognizing the growing need for a second laptop to get online easily and enjoy digital life. This is an important trend," Shih said. "We hope to create a new market that could become another NT$1 billion market."
Commenting on the US subprime credit crisis, Shih said that the impact for Asustek would be very limited because of its small presence in the US.
The company's biggest markets for its brand business are in Europe and Asia.
Shih said that although many Taiwanese electronics manufacturers were setting up operations in Vietnam, Asustek was betting on India, where it said market growth could see a sudden explosion.
"India has growth potential similar to what China's used to be," he said.
To increase its understanding of the Indian market, Shih said he had made a six day visit to the country last week, where Asustek has set up a branch with more than 100 staffers in Mumbai.
Asustek shares declined for the fourth trading session in a row to close at NT$87.7 yesterday.
LOOKING TO GROW: A survey showed that 71 percent of executives at chipmakers said that they aim to increase their global workforce this year An overwhelming majority of semiconductor executives expect revenue to grow this year, driven mainly by automotive applications that are putting wireless communications to the backseat, a survey released yesterday by global consultancy firm KPMG showed. Eighty-one percent of respondents said that their company’s revenue would increase over the next year, and half of them said they expect growth of more than 10 percent, the survey of 151 global semiconductor executives last quarter showed. Although lower than last year’s 95 percent and 68 percent respectively, the findings are encouraging in light of recent economic uncertainty, inflation, monetary tightening and geopolitical tensions, a KPMG
TAKING OFF: Net profit soared 29.5 percent annually last year to a record NT$15.37 billion, as GlobalWafers received record-high prepayments from customers, it said Semiconductor inventory corrections should end next quarter, paving the way for a pickup in demand in the second half of this year, GlobalWafers Co (環球晶圓) said yesterday. As a majority of its customers believe demand would bounce back in the second half, the world’s No. 3 silicon wafer maker said it is keeping most of its factories fully utilized to ensure sufficient supply. “Our customers have committed to take those wafers. They only requested to push back shipments by a month or two,” GlobalWafers chairwoman Doris Hsu (徐秀蘭) told an investors’ teleconference. “Overall industry inventory adjustment should be mostly resolved in the second
The London Metal Exchange (LME) discovered bags of stones instead of the nickel that underpinned a handful of its contracts at a warehouse in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, in a revelation that would deliver another blow to confidence in the embattled exchange. The amount of metal represents just 0.14 percent of live nickel inventories on the LME, worth about US$1.3 million at current prices, so the immediate effect on the metals markets is limited. However, the shock announcement has much wider implications. In an industry riddled with scandals, the LME’s contracts are viewed as unquestionably safe. The news that even a few of
Oil on Friday posted its worst weekly loss since the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic as banking turmoil poisoned investor sentiment. West Texas Intermediate for April delivery dropped 2.36 percent to US$66.74 per barrel, falling 12.96 percent for the week, the largest drop in almost three years. Brent crude for May delivery fell 2.32 percent to US$72.97, posting a weekly loss of 11.85 percent. The failure of Silicon Valley Bank and troubles at Credit Suisse Group AG drove investors from risk assets, with oil-options covering accelerating the sell-off. “Crude action this week reminded many of how quickly the commodity can be decimated by