Best of ASUS at CeBIT 2006
I'd like to draw the readers' attention to the events of the past week. To be more specific, to the expo stand of ASUS at CeBIT 2006.
The strained atmosphere at the expo where visits are appointed at minutes' precision, where after a few days of work you get hundreds of CDs with releases, gigabytes of photos and tens of kilos of valuable info on the novelties either prepared for immediate sales or to be shipped in summer/autumn, you are not supposed to go deep into a detailed examination of specific expos. Nevertheless, ASUS' expo stand is something really special even for such a global event.
Even among the largest manufacturers of computer components and ready systems, ASUS stands out by the variety of presented exhibits and by its positioning. It's not a secret that some time ago ASUS started positioning itself not only as a supplier of hi-quality computer components (and has still been in the status) but more as a world brand of the manufacturer of ready digital devices and systems for business and entertainment. Such precedents are not new, but the spice is in that ASUS is in fact the first brand of Taiwanese origin that dared for the world eminence in such scales.
To the credit of the company, we should note that the selected strategy has proven itself working, and the brand is earning not only through whatever computer components but most varied ready devices - from mobile phones and PDAs to notebooks, LCD TV-sets, and monitors.
Anyway, despite the strained schedule at the expo you always "get lost" into ASUS' stand for long. That's understandable in view of the span and abundance with most varied components and systems. Additionally, as was agreed earlier, I managed to briefly interview Mr. Eric Chen, chief of the ASUSTeK Computer Europe Headquarters. That is why the material on ASUS' expo stand is a separate report, of which I am sure you won;t be sorry.
I'll start my narration of visiting ASUS' stand just with several questions which I managed to ask Mr. Chen.
3DNews.ru: Mr. Chen, here at CeBIT 2006 we can fully estimate the event we are facing ľ the early advent of new-generation DVD standards. Does ASUS have any plans as to the emergence on this market, are there are preferences to a specific standard, if that's not a secret, or are there any partner programs with other companies regarding the emergence onto that market?
Eric Chen: Certainly, we keep an eye on the latest trends in DVD standards and work closely at the development of the respective hardware, so now I can state with absolute confidence that ASUS is fully prepared for the presence on this market.
Regarding our preferences: there is no secret - ASUSTeK Computer intends to support the Blu Ray Dis˝ standard. As to the dates of bringing our products to the retail, we absolutely associate ourselves with the industry - once new media and content are there in quantities sufficient to generate demand.
3DNews.ru: What is ASUS's vision of prospects for the introduction of Intel Viiv?
Eric Chen: There is no doubt, the idea of promoting a home-based entertainment PC with the output to TV coupled with respective personal services is interesting and finds support in the plans of our company. Let me remind it that ASUS has been long at the development and release of various makes of the so-called ePC - Entertainment PC: elegant, stylish things which offer support for a whole spectrum of multimedia applications. Already now we are ready for a wide demand for Intel Viiv systems.
3DNews.ru: The bright sign of CeBIT 2006 is the specific green badge denoting support for the RoHS standard, which means a full compliance with the environmental regulations to be introduced this summer by the European Union, which stipulate the absence of a number of harmful chemical elements and compounds in the products. How ready are ASUS' enterprises for the adoption of this standard?
Eric Chen: We started preparation for compliance with the RoHS standard at our enterprises some years ago, once the major requirements have become known.
In fact, we do not distinguish produce for the European and non-European markets, that is why all our motherboards, graphic systems and other products meet this standard.
3DNews.ru: The next question is regarding the positioning of ASUS' new brand. As is known, your company has been long producing compact and attractive barebone-systems. Just add a processor, memory, hard disk and you get an excellent desktop PC. The next logical move is the start of manufacture and sales of finished computer systems similar to notebooks, bearing the more than known logo. Does ASUS have such plans?
Eric Chen: Certainly, the idea of supplying ready computer systems onto the market is attractive indeed and quite promising. However, at this stage ASUS has no immediate plans regarding that, since we are more than pleased by the sales of most varied barebone-kits, including supplies from our numerous OEM/ODM partners.
3DNews.ru: With the release of the new generation of notebooks built on the Centrino Duo platform, especially with the implementation of exclusive projects like Lamborghini VX1, GPS-table R2 or made in the leather S6F, ASUS has again approved its status of a player in the world's supreme league. In view of the so vast introduction of high-end portable PCs, does ASUS further intend to be present in the sector of cheap mass models priced below $1000?
Eric Chen: Of course, the best engineering assets of our company will still be involved in the development of most advanced solutions, which just determines the leadership of a company on the market or, to some extent, shapes the future of the industry. However, that does not mean we have nothing to offer to the consumers who target at the mid-end. For instance, recently systems built on the base of Centrino past-generation platform Sonoma have become more affordable, and here we offer a full spectrum of interesting models at quite affordable prices.
3DNews.ru: Are you pleased by how things are getting on for your company in Russia?
Eric Chen: ASUS' division in Russia is increasing sales from year to year. The Russian market as before is still one of our company's priorities. No doubt, we are pleased by the work done by Russia's representation office.
3DNews.ru: Are people at ASUS pleased by how sales of server produce in Russia are progressing? Are you pleased by the already established network of distributors and system of sales?
Eric Chen: ASUS's server business is currently on the up, and that is not only on the Russian market. At this expo, we have presented a number of new solutions and systems of various complexity levels. I presume ASUS' server business in Russia has a bright future.
3DNews.ru: In conclusion, a question about an interesting initiative of ASUS put forward a couple of years ago, namely, about the experiment of retail supplies of premium-kits of motherboards including WLAN adapters. How successful the experiment has proved, will the practice of such deliveries continue in future?
Eric Chen: It's quite indicative that the percentage of motherboard deliveries in the premium kits is only going up with time. The experiment has proved more than successful, and these days such kits take more than an honorable place in our product lines.
3DNews.ru: Thank you very much for the interview! I wish a success to you and your company!
Then we had a tour around ASUS' expo stand, and Aleksey Voronkov, marketing director of ASUS Russia representation office, who accompanied me around, answered my numerous questions. See the results of the tour on the next page, albeit in a somehow compacted form.
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