Asustek Computer announced on Friday their annual profits and unfortunately the numbers are not brilliant. Their fourth quarter results dropped by 22.4% and over 2014, by almost 21%, compared with 2013. Asus blamed the main reason for the drop in profits because of foreign exchange currency movements, with amounted to NT$713 over the year out of net profits of NT$4.5 billion. In the details, Asus' notebook and hybrid devices (the two-in-one combinations of a tablet and a notebook) accounted for 56% of the fourth quarter 2014 revenues. Its smartphone division accounted for just 14% (8.5 million devices) and standalone tablets a further 8% (9.4 million). Asus also manufacturer desktop computer motherboard and graphics cards, which accounted for 11% of revenue - there's an entry marked "other" in the report for another 11%. Geographically, 44% of revenue came from the Asia Pacific region, 31% from Europe and 25% from the Americas, north and south.
Going forwards, Asus has set itself a target to sell 22 million notebook and hybrid notebooks in 2015, 3.5 million desktops, 17 million smartphones and 10 million tablets. To help it achieve these numbers, Asus is enhancing its business-use models for the Taiwan, Chinese and North American markets. Asus is also overseeing a significant change to the System-on-Chip (SoC) architecture that they use for their smartphone lineup, which until now has used the Intel Atom processor. Perhaps in light of Intel's decision to remove customer subsidies, for the coming year Asus is expecting 40% to 50% of its smartphones to use Qualcomm processors. Of the remainder, it is expecting this to be split evenly between MediaTek and Intel. This is a sea change for Asus after their Intel-only days: it's expecting to halve the number of Intel Atom processors it buys in from Intel.
Asus' target to double its smartphone sales is an aggressive statement, but if the previous generation of Asus ZenFone are anything to go by, they've every chance of managing this. From what we've seen of the second generation ZenFone devices, these look interestingand solid mid-range devices. Photographs should by now be aware of the Asus ZenFone Zoom, which combines a physical zoom lens into a device based around a mid-range smartphone with a 5.5-inch screen.
What do our readers think of Asus' smartphones and tablets? Do you prefer their adoption of Qualcomm and MediaTek processors, or will you miss their Intel flavor? Let us know in the comments below.