Asus will formally launch its Android handsets in Taiwan in 2009.
With Asus' recent launch of its Touch UI handsets, its first handset product based on the Android platform is planned for the first half of 2009. The Open Handset Alliance, a group of more than 30 technology and mobile companies, including Google, developed Android as a software stack for mobile devices that includes an operating system, middleware and key applications. Android relies on Linux version 2.6 for core system services such as security, memory management, process management, network stack, and driver model.
In 2007, Asus invested in the development of its own smartphone products. However, because of the problem in platform switches of its 3G chip, the company was forced to cut its product plan. It gave up the original plan of launching 13 to 15 types of products and finally launched seven new handset products.
Having experienced these changes, Asus restructured its mobile phone department and shift its focus to boutique products. In 2009, the company will launch no more than ten types of new handset products, but each one of them will have its special selling points. In addition, Asus' new handsets will all support the 3G and Touch UI technologies.
Asus' new move is the company's new measure to compete with HTC, which is also a Taiwan-based technology company. In Taiwan's smartphone market, the sales of Asus' products are only about 20% of those of HTC. In 2008, the global shipment of Asus' handsets has been only 300,000 to 400,000, which is far lower than HTC's 12 million to 13 million. In addition, HTC has established cooperative relationship with 50 to 60 telecom operators around the world while Asus only teamed up with a few of them, including Vodafone and O2. Therefore, it is urgent for Asus to break this situation and they hope the Android phones will help them tread a new path.