Asutek Exec: Our Goal Is to Make Better Products Than Apple

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Taiwanese computer manufacturer Asustek wants to unseat Apple as the king-o'-cool gadgets and computers, according to Jonathan Tsang, vice chairman of the company. In an interview with the New York Times, Mr. Tsang said his company has spent its money on engineering, and needs to do a better job of communicating with its customers.

To that end, the company intends to woo customers in the U.S. with better and more innovative designs. "Our goal," Mr. Tang said, "is to provide products that are better than Apple's."

Asustek has only recently come on the radar of many Americans, and that's in the still-niche, but growing, field of netbooks. Asustek, along with Acer, helped push cheap netbooks onto the market, which began to take off in concert with the global economic downturn in 2008.

The company is also a major player in the broader computer market in Asia, but has been stymied in the U.S. market, where only its cheap netbooks have found much purchase.

Asus Eee PC 900
The Asustek Eee PC 900 netbook, which retails for US$299 at Amazon.com

Comments

gopher

To succeed, they’ll have to:

1. Do what Psyter did without raising the wrath of Apple Legal.

2. Offer 24 hour at home tech support with a lifetime warranty.

3. Offer lifetime insurance on dropped and damaged machines.

In other words, they’d have to go the extra step that Apple did not.

gopher

Oh, and free data recovery services.

BurmaYank

5. Clone/kidnap Jonathan Ive.

Tiger

Start with a little advertising? I’ve heard of Acer, but Asustek? I’ve been in the business for 20 years. Never heard of them.

GGeek

@ Tiger:

Asustek = Asus.

Adam

Asus was well known for making motherboards (typically quite good ones).

Tiger

My point exactly. If we’re supposed to know them as Asustek, stop using other names.

And if their netbooks are what they’re betting the farm on to unseat Apple, “Lucy, you got some ‘splaining to do” cause right now, you’re not even in the same ballpark, much less the same inning.

deasys

He sounds like that dude from Creative who was going to spend $100 million to overtake Apple in the personal music player market. I don’t think that worked out quite the way he planned.

I don’t think this guy’s goals will either…

vince7

Asustek should stay at the lower end of the market.  At present the timing would be all wrong to introduce new high end products with no brand recognition.

I don’t see Asustek trying to make Mac clones like Psystar did.  Asustek will be stuck using either Windows or Linux as the OS.  Don’t forget that MS in it’s commercials states that you need not spend a lot of money for a Windows computer.  That leaves the door open for a Ultra High-end Linux system?

That guy should talk to Mike Dell or someone at HP before tossing the company’s money down a hole.

xmattingly

My point exactly. If we?re supposed to know them as Asustek, stop using other names.

That’s a huge problem for them, right out of the gate. If their branding sucks, who is going to remember who the hell they are, and what to look for in the stores?

wilf53

What about the OS?

Jeddy

A-HA-HA-HA

Keep dreaming Asus, you’re not even remotely in the same league.  Keep making crapbooks that don’t really do anything high-end ...

DeepSouth

yes, good luck on that one - it’s not in the DNA!

Zarko

Having held an Eeep(c), I can say that nobody is going to mistake them for a unibody Macbook. 

However, with the rumor of an android netbook, it might make netbooks a nice angle to present a new non-windows OS in the consumer area.  With the insane capabilities of recent web-based applications, even an OS that does little more than run a web browser can have reasonable capabilities.  Combined with the idea of offloading processing to cloud servers, low priced low powered computers could be reasonable.  Competing with similar sub$1000 machines that need to run vista/7, the netbook model could offer better build quality and perks.

But everybody says they want to be apple.  Doing it is a different beast altogether.

JonGl

Actually, before the eeePC, at least, here in Central Europe, Asus was known for its very expensive laptops, with leather treatment, and licensing the Lamborghini and Ferrari logos. The eeePC is really a rather recent innnovation from Asus, and it’s certainly had the effect of driving Apple’s prices downward, so don’t laugh too loudly. wink My wife has an eeePC 701, and she’s quite happy with it. I’m impressed with its build quality—but as with everything with computers, the lame Xandros distro is its biggest drawback. If Asus wants to truly compete, they will need to 1. Dump Windows, and 2. Use a distro of Linux that will actually work, and one that they can customize to actually accomplish what Leopard does (like that’s going to happen!) wink Good luck, Asus.

-Jon

ctopher

I believe I heard all the same nay saying when Honda and Toyota entered the USA market and said they wanted to compete. They took to the teaching of Demming et. al. and look where they are today.

I give Mr. Tsang credit for having a lofty goal and choosing a good example to follow. Note that he didn’t say, we’re going to hire more engineers and build in more features. He said that they needed to communicate better with their customers and improve their design. He did NOT say he was there yet, he said it was his goal.

Good for him. He’s not knocking anyone down or laughing at anyone’s goals. He is setting a tone for his company and given them a raison d’?tre. Sure he set the bar high, but that’s what you do when you want to succeed.

vince7

JonGl is on point about the OS of choice for a new high end line of products.  Apple is unique of all the OEMs due to their having their own OS to push their selected pieces of hardware.  OS X is the glue.

Linux has and will be a hard sell for Joe Public.  Among the non technical users there isn’t a difference between the various distributions.  That is the reason MS has gained a solid foothold in the Netbook market.  Don’t forget how some of the majors started selling computers pre-loaded with Linux.  That market segment never took off.

I think that if any OEM has a chance to topple Apple it would be Sony.  But Sony faces the same set of challenges of the other would be Apple killers, the OS.  MS has set the tone for future computer purchases.  IT would be hard for anyone making a higher end Windows computer to justify the cost.  Those dumb commercials cut both ways.

All in all it will be interesting to see this plan unfold.

xmattingly

I believe I heard all the same nay saying when Honda and Toyota entered the USA market and said they wanted to compete. They took to the teaching of Demming et. al. and look where they are today.

This is true; I think it’s fair to point out that it took Toyota 50 years to unseat GM, though.

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