updated 03:30 pm EDT, Tue June 9, 2009
ASUS Aims at Apple
ASUS vice chairman Jonathan Tsang today said in an interview that his company intends to beat Apple in design in the US. Even though the Eee PC line has been successful in the country, Tsang tells the New York Times that ASUS has little recognition in the US and that it plans to rely on engineering to boost its name, with Apple's MacBooks as the conspicuous target. The company's focus on product design reportedly leaves little room for a marketing budget and thus gives it little room to depend on advertising.
"Our goal is to provide products that are better than Apple's," he says.
He nonetheless adds that ASUS has done little to shake its image as a Taiwan-based company exporting its systems to the US.
It's not said if any of ASUS' current lineup qualifies as part of the update. The Eee PC 1008HA is consciously designed to parallel the ultra-thin, tapered profile of a MacBook Air but operates in an entirely different category, selling for less than a third of the Mac's price and running much more slowly. ASUS also makes the Eee Top all-in-one but, again, doesn't compete against Apple in features or price. Most of its other, non-Eee systems are more typical mainstream notebooks, though it also makes Windows Mobile smartphones and is rumored to be using Android.
Tsang acknowledges that ASUS is also planning to venture deeper into consumer electronics as a whole but that some of its ambitions are hampered by content deals; neither an e-book reader nor its attempt to shadow the Nintendo Wii, the Eee Stick, have the content deals needed for a public debut. The executive doesn't say whether any of these are near.