HTC now the most valuable brand in Taiwan

By on October 7, 2011 at 7:00 AM.

HTC now the most valuable brand in Taiwan

HTC recently surpassed Acer as the most valuable international technology brand in Taiwan, according to Taiwan Economic News. The accolade was awarded to HTC by Taiwan’s External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) and the Bureau of Foreign Trade. The company’s brand is now valued at $3.6 billion, up from just $1.37 billion last year. The Taiwan-based phone and tablet maker is followed by Acer ($1.94 billion) and Asus ($1.36 billion). “You have to make an investment, spend time, and stay patient,” HTC CEO Peter Chou advised other companies during the award ceremony, noting that HTC was not afraid to fail. “Even if we failed, the process would help to produce positive results for Taiwan.” HTC expects to ship 13.5 million smartphones during the second half of this year and it is planning to increase its presence in China dramatically. The company on Thursday reported third-quarter revenue of NT$135.8 billion, up 79% from the same quarter of 2010, and net income grew 68% over the same period to NT$18.6 billion. More →

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AT&T to offer Acer Iconia Tab A501 tablet on September 18th for $330

By on September 12, 2011 at 9:30 PM.

AT&T to offer Acer Iconia Tab A501 tablet on September 18th for $330

AT&T announced on Monday it will offer Acer’s Iconia Tab A501 Android Honeycomb tablet beginning on September 18th. We first saw the Iconia Tab during CTIA in March, though we weren’t terribly impressed with the initial product. The tablet is equipped with a 10.1-inch 1280 x 800-pixel resolution screen, support for AT&T’s HSPA+ network, a dual-core 1GHz NVIDIA Tegra2 processor, a full size USB port, a microSD card slot, a 5-megapixel rear-facing camera and a 2-megapixel front-facing camera for video chats. The Acer Iconia Tab A501 will be available in AT&T stores and online for $479.99 but AT&T says customers can pay a subsidized $329.99 price for the tablet if they opt to sign a two-year contract with a 3GB monthly plan. Read on for the full press release from AT&T. More →

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Initial Intel Ultrabook shipment volume below 50,000 units, report suggests

By on September 6, 2011 at 10:45 PM.

Initial Intel Ultrabook shipment volume below 50,000 units, report suggests

Fearing the notebook market will not bounce back during the fourth quarter, Intel’s Ultrabook partners Acer, ASUS, Lenovo and Toshiba will initially ship fewer than 50,000 units of the new thin and light notebooks DigiTimes reported on Tuesday. Intel, which will invest $300 million in Ultrabooks during the next three to four years, will also hold a conference on September 14th in an effort to attract new partners to the platform. The new notebooks are manufactured by Quanta Computer and Compal Electronics, and are expected to ship in September for launches in October. Sources speaking to DigiTimes also suggested that the notebook market may not bounce back enough for Intel to achieve its goal of owning 40% of the notebook market with its Ultrabook devices. More →

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Acer reports first quarterly loss in company history as slump continues

By on August 25, 2011 at 2:15 AM.

Acer reports first quarterly loss in company history as slump continues

Acer reported its second-quarter results on Wednesday and revealed its first ever quarterly loss. The company recorded a net loss of NT$6.79 billion, versus Wall Street estimates that the firm would report a NT$3.3 billion loss. The poor performance was blamed on Acer’s focus to clear up “excessive inventory” and on severance payments that were provided to executives who left the firm, Reuters said. In late March, Acer’s CEO Gianfranco Lanci resigned and recent rumors have suggested he will move to Samsung. Acer’s chairman J.T. Wang had originally expected to report positive revenue during the third quarter but he now says it will not be possible for the company to break out of its slump this year. “Today I have to say, trying to break even this year becomes impossible,” Wang said, noting that his company’s restructuring needs more time. Wang recently cut the company’s 2011 tablet forecast to 2.5 million units, down 50% from earlier estimates of 5-7 shipped units, and blamed weak tablet sales on competing devices. Acer founder Stan Shih recently said tablets are a passing “fad,” though we know several research firms that might disagree. More →

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Intel: Acer, ASUS and Lenovo to launch sub-$1,000 Ultrabooks in Q4

By on August 12, 2011 at 10:00 PM.

Intel: Acer, ASUS and Lenovo to launch sub-$1,000 Ultrabooks in Q4

Acer, ASUS and Lenovo will launch Intel-powered “Ultrabooks” priced below $1,000 during the fourth quarter of this year, Intel’s executive vice president Sean Maloney said during an event in Taipei. Several of Intel’s other partners aren’t as sure they will be able to hit that price target. DigiTimes said the bill of materials to build an 11.6-inch Ultrabook exceeds $700, which doesn’t leave a lot of room for profits. However, Intel did recently announced that it will invest $300 million in its Ultrabook initiative during the next three to four years, which could be used to offer manufacturers a subsidy per unit for marketing efforts. That, in turn, might help Intel’s partners keep their devices priced below $1,000. Intel hopes its new Ultrabooks will grab a 40% share of the notebook market by the end of 2012. More →

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Windows Phone Mango devices could be unveiled beginning September 1st

By on August 12, 2011 at 7:01 AM.

Windows Phone Mango devices could be unveiled beginning September 1st

Microsoft will begin rolling out Windows Phone 7.5 “Mango” to last year’s Windows Phone lineup beginning September 1st, Pocket-lint reports. The British tech blog cites multiple trusted sources with its report, and it says September 1st will also mark the start of device announcements touting Microsoft’s Mango OS. The date just one day ahead of this year’s IFA trade show in Berlin, where Pocket-lint says Microsoft may have Windows Phone 7.5-powered devices on display alongside manufacturers like Samsung ZTE and LG. Nokia is not expected to unveil its first Windows Phone until its annual Nokia World event in October. Microsoft’s Joe Belfore addressed the rumor without confirming or denying it early Friday morning, saying only that it is, in fact, a rumor. More →

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Intel to invest $300 million in Ultrabooks

By on August 11, 2011 at 8:05 PM.

Intel to invest $300 million in Ultrabooks

Intel will invest $300 million during the next three to four years in an effort to speed up the development of its new “Ultrabook” category of laptops, Bloomberg reported on Thursday. Intel will provide its hardware and software partners with funding and hopes that the cash will be enough for its partners to develop Ultrabooks that can last a full day on a single charge. “The Intel Capital Ultrabook fund will focus on investing in companies building technologies that will help revolutionize the computing experience and morph today’s mobile computers into the next ‘must have’ device,” Intel Capital Corp. executive vice president Arvind Sodhani told Bloomberg. Intel began discussing the new Ultrabook category during the Computex trade show in March. It hopes the computers will grab 40% of the consumer laptop market by the end of next year and says the devices will combine the performance of today’s laptops with a tablet-like experience in a thin and light product. Recent reports have suggested that Acer, ASUS, Dell, Lenovo and HP will begin mass producing Ultrabooks in September and ASUS’ UX21 is expected to be the first model to hit the market. More →

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Acer founder says tablets like iPad are a fad

By on August 5, 2011 at 4:45 PM.

Acer founder says tablets like iPad are a fad

Acer founder Stan Shih on Friday said that tablets like Apple’s iPad and ultrabooks like those in the works from numerous Intel partners — including Acer — are a “short-term phenomena.” Speaking with DigiTimes, Shih urged companies to continue focusing on notebook computers and innovative value-added products. Shih commended Apple for thinking outside the box when bringing the iPad to market, but said personal computers will continue to be requisites for businesses and consumers. When asked if Shih believed Acer’s upcoming low-cost 7-inch tablet would be a success, he noted that consumers indeed want low-cost options. Shih founded Acer, then called Multitech, in 1976 along with his wife. He ran the company until his retirement in 2004. More →

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Acer founder comments on former CEO’s move to Samsung

By on July 28, 2011 at 1:30 AM.

Acer founder comments on former CEO’s move to Samsung

On Tuesday, reports surfaced that Acer’s former chief executive officer Gianfranco Lanci has accepted a job at Samsung where he will lead the Korean company’s notebook business. Acer founder Stan Shih spoke with reporters during the ADOC 2.0 technology conference in Taipei on Wednesday and discussed the issue. While the move has yet to be confirmed by Samsung or Acer, Shih noted that it is common for executives to move between firms, especially for better gigs, and that the press should not be surprised. The calm remarks are a bit surprising as there is speculation that Lanci’s move could be a blow to Acer’s laptop business. Acer is currently the world’s No. 4 laptop manufacturer, trailed by Samsung in the No. 7 spot. More →

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Mass production of Intel ultrabooks slated for September

By on July 27, 2011 at 3:00 AM.

Mass production of Intel ultrabooks slated for September

Acer, ASUS, Dell, Lenovo and HP will begin to mass produce Intel-powered ultrabooks in September, on schedule for a second-half launch, DigiTimes reported on Tuesday. ASUS’ UX21 ultrabook will be the first such device to market, despite reports to the contrary that HP would release its device before ASUS. Instead, HP’s ultrabook may not launch until the fourth quarter or early next year, a far cry from the original rumored August launch date. Models from Acer and Dell could be late to the market, too, due to slower than expected panel production. Intel introduced its ultrabook roadmap in May and hopes the devices, which will be powered by the company’s latest Core processors and 22nm Ivy Bridge processor, will dominate 40% of the consumer market by the end of 2012. More →

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Windows Phone ‘Mango’ released to vendors

By on July 26, 2011 at 5:30 PM.

Windows Phone ‘Mango’ released to vendors

Microsoft confirmed on its Windows Team Blog on Monday that it has released the RTM build of Windows Phone “Mango” to manufacturing partners. “This marks the point in the development process where we hand code to our handset and mobile operator partners to optimize Mango for their specific phone and network configurations,” explained Microsoft’s Windows Phone corporate vice president Terry Myerson. Microsoft has said Mango will deliver more than 500 new features to the Windows Phone platform, including Internet Explorer 9 and deeper social network integration, and we expect to see the release hit current devices in August. In addition, new phones from Microsoft’s partners, which include Nokia, HTC, LG, Samsung, Dell, Acer, Fujitsu and ZTE, are expected to be unveiled as early as September. More →

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Samsung taps ex-Acer CEO Gianfranco Lanci to boost notebook biz

By on July 25, 2011 at 7:40 PM.

Samsung taps ex-Acer CEO Gianfranco Lanci to boost notebook biz

Acer’s former chief executive Gianfranco Lanci may join Samsung to assist with building the Korean firm’s notebook business, DigiTimes reported on Monday. Gianfranco Lanci resigned from Acer in March of this year after the company hit a rough patch. Rumor has it Lanci’s attractive management expertise in European sales channels attracted both Dell and Samsung as suitors. DigiTimes said Lanci signed a one-year non-compete agreement with Acer when he left his executive role, however Samsung will reportedly work to negotiate that agreement if Lanci joins the company. Neither Acer nor Samsung have confirmed Lanci’s potential move. More →

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Final Windows Phone Mango build released to manufacturers and carriers [updated]

By on July 22, 2011 at 10:35 PM.

Final Windows Phone Mango build released to manufacturers and carriers [updated]

Microsoft’s final build of Windows Phone Mango has been rubber stamped and released to manufacturers and wireless carriers according to Windows Phone Dev Podcast. The move is among the final steps before Microsoft delivers the Mango release to customers. The most recent reports have suggested that Microsoft will update current Windows Phone devices in September, although winrumors says the update could be pushed out as soon as August. Microsoft’s Windows Phone partners include HTC, LG, Samsung, Dell, Acer, Fujitsu, ZTE Corporation and Nokia, and we should see a number of new devices from those companies in the fall time frame. Mango was officially announced in May and Microsoft has promised that it will deliver more than 500 new features to the platform.

UPDATE: Microsoft’s Senior Director of Communications Bill Cox has stated that Windows Phone 7.5 Mango has not yet reached RTM, as Windows Phone Dev Podcast reported. More →

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