It seems the Chromebooks are getting a little bit of momentum lately, as pretty much every major PC manufacturer has signed up to making them. Asus doesn’t want to remain behind the others, so they will also launch one by the end of this year.
Asus sees the decline of Windows PC’s, so they are trying, just like Samsung, Acer, HP and Lenovo, to experiment with as many different form factors and operating systems as possible. Maybe one of them will stick, and it will bring them back on the growth path again.
Asus has already had some success with the Nexus 7 and their own tablets, managing to sell 3 million units last quarter. They might also be interested in making some of those upcoming Androidbooks, but I think for now both Google and OEM’s want to focus mainly on the Chromebooks.
“Chromebook is good, not on the consumer side, but it’s good in the education and government side, and some for the commercial side,” Shen said.
Asus believes that the demand for Chromebooks should grow especially in 2014, and they want to already have a product out there by then. However, he sees most of the customers coming from universities and enterprise, and not necessarily from the consumers, who right now seem to prefer tablets. If they want to get a new “computer”, chances are they will op for a tablet.
But the enterprise market moves a lot slower. Plus, they need the extra security Chromebooks are offering, and they need to transition some of their employees to cloud services, including Google Apps. Google won’t beat Microsoft in enterprise with their own OS and apps anytime soon, but they’ve been making significant gains lately, and it’s a fight worth fighting, because it’s a very profitable market. The enterprise customers can also remain customers for a very long time.
Asus will be but one of the Chromebook makers this year. Samsung should also release their most expected second generation ARM-based Chromebook, most likely using the Exynos 5 Octa processor. And then there are Acer, HP and Lenovo who should also continue to release new generations of Chromebooks (hopefully more silent ones with ARM chips).