Asus’ Pegatron spin-off draws to a close

Wants to be the next Apple, not Acer

IT SEEMS LIKE Asus’ spin-off of Pegatron has been given the green light, as the two companies are set to part officially on June 24th when they each get their own stock on the Taipei stock exchange. During the period between the 8th of May and the 23rd of June all trading with Asus’ stock will be suspended.

However, Digitimes has an interesting comment from Asus’ chairman Jonney Shih, who suggested that Asus is aiming at becoming the next Apple and not Acer, which has been Asus’ aspirationl target in the past. He also said Asus will adopt open source platforms running Android powered by ARM based processors in addition to its current Wintel solutions. This is apparently based on customer demand which is an interesting turning point, especially after Asus decided not to launch its ARM based smartbook last year.

There have also been a lot of rumours about a new ‘killer product’ coming from Asus in June, which we would presume will coincide with Computex which as always is the first week of June. Some websites are suggesting that this will be a Tegra 2 tablet manufactured by Pegatron with a sub-$500 price tag. Considering Tegra based smartbooks were meant to sell for less than $300, we’d expect that Tegra 2 based tablets would cost about the same.

In related news, Asus’ revenue was up 167 percent year on year, although the company is expecting a 10 percent drop in sales of notebooks and netbooks during the first quarter of the year. This is expected to result in a first quarter drop in profit of between 10 to 20 percent. Asus is also concerned about components shortages, as that will lead to increased costs which will further impact profits.

Pegatron didn’t do quite as well, but its year on year profits were up 45.9 percent according to Digitimes, so it looks like the two companies are doing reasonably well despite the downturn last year. It will be interesting to see what happens after the Pegatron spin-off as to which part comes out as the stronger of the two. This also means that ASRock, which is a Pegatron brand, will be free to compete with Asus in a different manner than it does currently. This could potentially be dangerous for Asus’ motherboard business, or might possibly be a planned strategy if Asus is slowly shifting focus away from components.S|A

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