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Asustek ready for challenges in 2014: chairman

TAIPEI--Taiwan's Asustek Computer Inc. is prepared to take on more challenges this year as the personal computer industry is shifting its focus to cloud computing technology, the company's chairman said Tuesday.

Johnny Shih said the information and communications technology industry is restructuring in its “biggest paradigm shift” from personal computing to cloud computing technology.

This year will be a “critical year” for Asustek as the company has created solid technical fundamentals, management abilities and design power in a wide product range, from motherboards to desktops, notebooks, tablets and smartphones, he said.

“We have prepared the most powerful ammunition depot,” Shih told employees at Asustek's year-end party. “But we should stay humble because we can still improve in many areas.”

“We will have to further enhance our product quality and marketing in a bid to compete against other world-class companies,” the chairman said.

Asustek Chief Financial Officer David Chang forecast that the company's revenue will surge in the second quarter of 2014 on a yearly basis, citing a low comparison in the same period of 2013 and strong demand for the company's new smartphone lineup.

Seeking to tap into the mainstream smartphone segment, Asustek's unveiled its new ZenFone series of low-priced smartphones at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) trade show Jan. 7-10 in Las Vegas, Chang said at the party.

The three ZenFone models, priced as low as US$99, feature screen sizes from 4 to 6 inches and are available in an array of colors.

Asustek said at an investor conference Nov. 13 that it expects its notebook shipments to grow 15 percent to 21 million units for 2014 and its tablet shipments to rise by 7 percent to 13 million units if it gets orders for Google Inc.'s third-generation Nexus 7 tablet.

Asustek also projected shipments of 5 million smartphones in 2014, up from an estimated 1.5 million units this year, as the company plans to partner with more tier-one telecom operators globally in the first half of 2014.

Beyond giving sales guidance, the company announced plans to launch wearable devices at the Computex Taipei trade fair in June next year in a bid to cash in on the latest trend in mobile devices.

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