ASUS in laptop market attack

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Taiwanese manufacturer ASUS is set to crank up its notebook business in Australia through its distribution partners, as it looks to replicate its market leading position in Taiwan.

Taiwanese manufacturer ASUS is set to crank up its notebook business in Australia through its distribution partners, as it looks to replicate its market leading position in Taiwan.

Better known in the local channel as a supplier of motherboards and graphics cards, the company -- which does its own manufacturing -- is the number one notebook supplier in Taiwan with a 29 percent market share.

Benson Lin, GM for Asia-Pacific sales and marketing at ASUS, was in Australia this week talking up the fact that ASUS -- unlike other US-based companies such as Toshiba and HP -- has its own manufacturing facilities.

He pointed out that these US-based vendors are only "sales and marketing companies" and employ third parties to manufacture for them.

Lin wants to beef up ASUS' channel exposure here and by the end of the year he's hoping that 30 percent of the local dealer channel would be selling ASUS products.

The company is also moving from modest digs in North Parramatta to an office in Silverwater in Sydney next month. An ASUS-branded service centre would open in September, with one in Melbourne and one in Brisbane to follow in October.

Lin claimed the company has an advantage over competing manufacturers with notebook products such as its W1N range which sports an "integrated TV tuner".

ASUS' sales manager Chiang Lim, also claimed the company is the only supplier that offers a two-year minimum warranty with the products.

Globally, the US$6 billion company expected to grow to US$9 billion for its year ending 31 December, with 33 percent of this revenue expected to come from notebook sales, up from 29 percent in 2003. It is hoping to ship 40 million notebooks worldwide this year.

ASUS set up an office in Sydney last September and is now distributing through Cassa in Brisbane, as well as Ingram Micro and Synnex. Achieva distributes its components only.

The company also manufactures barebones desktops, IA devices, servers, broadband modems, wireless hardware, optical drives and networking devices.

An ASUS mobile phone range is also due to be released here over the next 12 months.

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