Asus released its first quarter financial results yesterday, and dropped a few hints about its future netbook products in the process. First, the company posted a profit in the first quarter, which surprised analysts, but net profit is down a whopping 94% from the same period last year. And the company recorded a large operating loss for hte company.
Asus CEO Jerry Shen says he expects things to turn around during the second half of 2009 as Asus begins bringing new products to market. But two things that we won’t be seeing from Asus this year are netbooks using ARM processors or the Google Android operating system. While Asus has reportedly looked at the possibility of developing an Android-powered netbook, Shen says that Asus is sticking with Windows for now because it’s what “most consumers are used to.” I don’t think this means that Asus will be abandoning Xandros Linux altogether, but while the first Eee PC netbooks shipped exclusively with Linux, most Asus netbooks today ship with Windows. Of course, you can always replace it with another operating system like Ubuntu or OS X if you know what you’re doing.
Shen also says that Asus has no plans to begin using ARM based processors, and will instead stick with x86 processors. That makes a lot of sense in light of Shen’s comments regarding Windows, since Windows can’t run on ARM CPUs.
If we remember back to the original eeepc press event Intel brass hats were up on the stage with the ASUS CEO. It was a joint venture. Intel and ASUS have a long relationship. ASUS will not be doing anything with ARM until and unless the marketplace renders a clear verdict in favor of ARM.
They’re being cautious, which I’m sure their shareholders like. The whole ARMbook/Android thing…that’s going to be tackled by smaller names in the beginning. Why mess with what’s established and works in this economy?
Still, if Pegatraon and their ilk find a market(And I’m betting they will), expect them to have learned some new tunes come next CES.
Pegatron is the OEM manufacturing arm of Asus, it’s the same company.
I think what Chen is saying is that they are not going to release an arm netbook branded as an Asus, but they are likely going to build them for other people.
“Give me Linux or give me Death”, Nathan Hale.
Not difficult to believe Asus will stay out of the ARMbook market (for now). They are still the 800 lb gorilla in the netbook market. If ARMbooks start selling well and start cutting into the netbook market that could change very rapidly. I would not be surprised if Asus has testing going on in some back room somewhere…just in case.
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