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Nexus 7 and Android Convertibles Drive Massive Asus Profit

Unknown Lamer posted about a year and a half ago | from the king-of-the-hill dept.

Android 232

rtfa-troll writes "The collapse of the PC market has had much discussion on Slashdot with a common opinion that, now that Apple is the largest personal computer manufacturer, a loss of sales combined with Apple's iPad will completely eliminate most of them. Now Asustek's most recent results show that there may be a way out for those that can move away from their standard markets. Concentrating on Android tablet devices, the Google Nexus 7, with a help from ASUS transformer tablets has driven the company to massive $230 million profits. Asus gross revenue also climbed 9 percent to around $3.8 billion. We have discussed related issues recently: Where companies like HTC have lost their focus on open Android devices and suffered from devastating collapses, ASUS has managed to differentiate it's tablets by providing the most open tablet experience possible via with Google's Nexus program and branding."

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232 comments

economics 101 (5, Insightful)

banbeans (122547) | about a year and a half ago | (#41827677)

Build stuff people want to buy, make a profit

Re:economics 201 (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41827863)

Build stuff people want to buy, make a profit

Build stuff people want to buy, dominate the market, acieve a monopoly, make a way more profit

Re:economics 101 (4, Insightful)

Paradise Pete (33184) | about a year and a half ago | (#41828033)

Build stuff people want to buy, make a profit

Especially if you can build at a profit something the contractor is willing to sell at a loss. That's a great market.

Innovation (1)

high_rolla (1068540) | about a year and a half ago | (#41827685)

Indeed I believe we are just seeing the start of a new era of innovation in terms of new formats for portable devices. Android is maturing just as the manufacturers are starting to get their stuff together in terms of playing with new ideas. I think the future is going to be very interesting. I wonder if Apple and MS will be able to keep up?

Re:Innovation (5, Insightful)

epyT-R (613989) | about a year and a half ago | (#41827735)

a 'great' era to get all excited about.. or not.

1. they're all locked down in some way compared with the existing x86 desktop.
2. they're simplified to the point of uselessness for anyone who knows what they're doing (the vendors' competition).
3. the result of 1 and 2 is that they're consumer-hostile devices disguised as 'convenience' network-dependent platforms rather than empowering tools one can own and retain control over (ie trust). I see little of interest here for the same reasons I don't care about my cable box.

So far I've seen little innovation other than rehashes/dumbed down versions of existing software, just with ads or with 'subscription' hooks and simplified interfaces. The closest thing we have to open is android and even that's riddled with binary only drivers and userland. bleh..

oh and spare me the 'all users want is convenience so you should just learn to deal with it' posts.. just don't bother. I've heard it all before. There's no reason why they can't have their convenience along with the power to tinker if they choose to. It's just too bad that today's users don't understand that gaining advantage with powerful tools requires a learning curve. It's also too bad that I along with tomorrow's crop of 8 to 14yos won't have the opportunity to really learn to command tomorrow's computer technology without a licensed sandbox.

Re:Innovation (2, Interesting)

houghi (78078) | about a year and a half ago | (#41827777)

The people should not only want both the freedom to tinker AND the security of the walled garden. The people should DEMAND, after all:
People willing to trade their freedom for temporary security deserve neither and will lose both.

Re:Innovation (4, Insightful)

LodCrappo (705968) | about a year and a half ago | (#41828357)

While I agree with the sentiment mostly, DEMANDing security is not in the spirit of that quote. Freedom comes with responsibility, not security. You really cannot have freedom in a perfectly safe system, that is precisely why the quote talks about trading one for the other. The very power and flexibility that lets you experiment also lets you do stupid things that compromise security. Rather than demanding things, I think it's high time we accept that personal education and personal responsibility are the only way to provide both freedom and the safety that a walled garden claims to provide.

Re:Innovation (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41827895)

you forgot 4. they're tracking and monitoring your life for good opportunities to market you and make even more money off advertising.

Re:Innovation (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about a year and a half ago | (#41828621)

Weirdly enough, a lot of people don't see that as a problem.

So many of them, in fact, of them that the manufacturers don't have to worry about the people who do.

Re:Innovation (4, Insightful)

marcello_dl (667940) | about a year and a half ago | (#41828751)

A lot of people didn't worry about committing their work to closed document formats in the nineties too, and people are still paying for it.

which next step? (1)

Herve5 (879674) | about a year and a half ago | (#41828039)

epy-T-R I fully, absolutely agree with your analysis.
My concern anyhow is that people are definitely migrating to this system, both end-users and developers altogether.
I fear, but definitely expect, we'll see very soon a world with unattended fossil apps on PCs Macs and linux boxes, and then walled-garden-tablets for the 90%.

Which brings my next question: how to react, now? What to do?

On my side, a couple of years ago I bought a tiny linux-driven laptop; I wasted quite a time to reach a workable state, and then when it was stolen and I looked for replacement, I discovered Microsoft had lowered its windows rate enought that absolutely nothing was left with Linux by default on it.
That was also the time of the tablets. Fearful of walled gardens, I waited one more year, expecting THE linux tablet. Nothing, nowhere.
Three months ago, I bought a Blackberry Playbook: at least, not surrending the duopoly. Playbook is reasonable, basically I rebuilt all of my processes (save spam-filter in mail, but for instance there indeed is an ad-filtering browser, I indeed can work M$-documents on it, including external slideshows...)
The craziest issue remains lack of root access: things as simple as a backup become nightmares.

I still wait for the future linux tablet, if one comes. I'll be first in the line. But what else?

Re:which next step? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41828289)

> I still wait for the future linux tablet, if one comes. I'll be first in the line. But what else?

Depending on which country you live, you might be in a good or bad situation.

Brazil (where I live) is not the best for Linux end user usage, but we sure have a lot of Linux offers -- the catch is physical retail is in a turmoil now. Sometimes people at stores direct us to their website for common products like silverware or TVs. Thus, Linux PCs, notebooks, netbooks etc. are better be bought online (with few exceptions).

As you predict, and i agree, there will be no incentive for developers to support desktop versions of commercial apps which sell less and less. Linux apps OTOH will probably do well for longer on the desktop -- perhaps even on Windows, but your best bet is Linux IMHO. Android apps will probably converge to a common base with Linux desktop PCs (if touch issues are somehow solved or a dual mode is created) so that even inexpensive paid apps will far more available than they are now. That itself will put Android even more ahead Apple's iOS while making Linux more attractive at the same time.

But answering your question, I'd go for a Linux netbook now, which doesn't cost one an arm and a leg and offers a good experience, provided the processor is not braindamaged and some level of video acceleration is available; I myself still opted for a notebook, as I feel tablet/netbook resources are still too limited.

Re:Innovation (4, Interesting)

CastrTroy (595695) | about a year and a half ago | (#41828087)

Or your know, just buy two devices. These things are getting pretty cheap now. Get a Nexus 7 tablet for $200, use it for all your media consumption and facebooking. Get a $400 laptop, or a $600 desktop with gobs of memory and ample processing power, and use it for tinkering and programming whatever else. It's nice that we can tinker with computers without spending a fortune. I like tinkering as much as the next guy, but I also have a computer that I don't tinker with because I like to have it working and free of clutter when I actually want to get stuff done. At $400-$500, tablets are way too expensive for me. But at $200, it's more like buying an MP3 player, or a dvd/blueray player. Nobody cares that they can't hack their dvd player. They just want it to work and play movies

Re:Innovation (4, Insightful)

Nerdfest (867930) | about a year and a half ago | (#41828157)

Many people do have similar concerns about their DVD players, as region locking renders most of them useless. Ones that have configuration options exposed can play multiple regions. In this case it's the manufacturers telling you how you can use your media rather than your device, but the concept is similar.

Re:Innovation (1)

Attila the Bun (952109) | about a year and a half ago | (#41828805)

Absolutely. And tinkering pretty much requires a keyboard, so the majority of Android or iOS devices are physically unsuitable for that kind of use. Carry a laptop when you need it and a tablet when you don't. I can see the attraction of a slim, light tablet device when you just need to check emails or buy tickets, and although the prices seem rather high for such simple devices it's obvious that people are happy to pay. But no matter how good these tablets get there will always be tasks which need a better (and bigger) human interface, and that's where PCs are unbeatable.

Re:Innovation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41828947)

Nobody cares that they can't hack their dvd player. They just want it to work and play movies

I have custom firmware on my DVD player. All I had to do was burn an ISO to CD and put it in the player. That's easier than any Android/iOS device.

Re:Innovation (1)

Xest (935314) | about a year and a half ago | (#41828115)

"There's no reason why they can't have their convenience along with the power to tinker if they choose to."

Well there is, opening up some things like drivers can have all sorts of repercussions from contract negotation difficulties over patent licensing and potential legal threats and so forth, through to simply having to tidy up the code a little more, and facilitating distribution of it, through to potential increased support headaches as their support team chase round in circles over a problem before finding out the problem exists because someone tinkered with something without knowing what they are doing. All these things combined mean there is a cost to companies in opening up some of their source, and the fact is that the number of people who care whether the drivers are open or not is so minutely small that it's not worth fucking over everyone else by having to pass on increased costs to them just because of this tiny irrelevant little minority who will dick around at driver level. It may even be counterproductive, the price increase they'd have to perform if they want to make even the slightest little things open (component manufacturers for example may hike the price for providing hardware documentation to end users) may be enough that their fully open product is no longer competitive with a competing closed product in the first placing leading to the open product failing and being replaced by close products anyway.

Yes it would be nice if everything was completely open for people like yourself who care about these things but it's not a big enough deal to matter. Even people like myself who have the technical competence to tinker and who download or buy things to tinker with (like the RaspberryPi) often end up finding they don't have time to do so after all anyway such that it ends up sat in a cupboard doing nothing, much less people who don't even have the technical competence in the first place.

You're chasing an ideological fantasy, that, whilst I respect it, and believe the goals of it are noble, just isn't practical in practice right now unfortunately.

Re:Innovation (2)

Lumpy (12016) | about a year and a half ago | (#41828239)

WAH! You have been able to buy a 100% unlocked and not locked down tablet for years. I am betting you are just too cheap to buy one. Fujitsu Stylistic or one of the higher ASUS tablets that are X86 based. they work great and run linux or windows or whatever you want.

Stop whining and buy one. Yes they cost around $800-$1000 but who cares, it's 100% open and you can install whatever OS you want on it.. Even X86 android!

You can tinker if you choose to, by buying the right device.

Re:Innovation (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#41829179)

1. How is a nexus 7 locked down?
The bootloader is unlocked and you don't have to stick with android.

Re:Innovation (3, Insightful)

bfandreas (603438) | about a year and a half ago | (#41828307)

I agree.
the major driver for PC sales in the past has been obsolescence. Something new popped up that you absolutely wanted but your machine couldn't handle it. Most of the time this involved replacing CPU, Graphics card, Mainboard and possibly RAM. Basically a totally new machine.
Last year I bought an i7 based system with 16gb RAM, SSD and a Geforce 580. I also use this machine for development and have to run an awful lot on it. It is BORED stiff most of the time. CPUs have been fast enough for some time. Graphic cards don't need replacing as often since PC gaming is still held back by the current console generation. Unless of course you want to drive multiple screens at monster resolutions...

A NORMAL user who does some text processing, web browsing, Youtube and stuff can easily live with a 5 year old machine. Windows 8 might be a reason to upgrade.

So what now? Utility? Form factor? I am SERIOUSLY considering to get one of those Windows 8(not RT) Transformers once all the inevitable kinks got ironed out. And I WILL ditch my laptop for it. Because a tablet/laptop hybrid is exactly what I'm interested in. I've got a Transformer Prime which is a brilliant little machine. But now, after living with Android for the last 3 years I'm coming more and more to the conclusion that it simply sucks. Especially web browsing is atrocious. Also for some things I'd need a little bit more available performance. I don't know if the Prime is underpowered(I'm under the impression it is one of the fastes Android things out there) or if Android is the limiting factor. And I suspect it is the latter.

tl;dr:
Nobody replaces PCs at the rate they used to. And if they get replaced then it is rather for form factor than more power.

Re:Innovation (1)

Legion303 (97901) | about a year and a half ago | (#41828877)

A NORMAL user who does some text processing, web browsing, Youtube and stuff can easily live with a 5 year old machine.

Hell, I regularly do music and video editing on my 6-year-old laptop without hiccups. It also ran every single game right up until GTA4, at which point I had consoles to play newer games on anyway. As you said, people just don't need to upgrade their computers as much these days.

Desktop Android (5, Interesting)

Andy Prough (2730467) | about a year and a half ago | (#41827699)

Desktop Android would steal 30% of the market for new laptop installations from MS within just a few years. If Asus wants to make monster profits, it would push for Desktop Android to get to market on its devices sooner rather than later.

Re:Desktop Android (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41827773)

Put it in the boot roms :) , even better.

Re:Desktop Android (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41827935)

Am i using a different android to the rest of you (jellybean 4.1)? Because android (as clever as parts of it are) has gaping holes of functionality. I only get away with it on the phone because i don't do anything very complex, and if i ever i try it only ends in tears (that said trying to use ios in the same capacity drive me to suicide)

Re:Desktop Android (3, Insightful)

LordLucless (582312) | about a year and a half ago | (#41828213)

because i don't do anything very complex

As many people don't do with their laptops. There's a reason the GP didn't say 100% of laptop sales in his post. You're obviously not one of the 30%

Re:Desktop Android (1)

marcosdumay (620877) | about a year and a half ago | (#41829037)

Well, if you take a look, you'll find plenty of Android netbooks to buy.

They aren't selling like water, but they are selling. That 30% figure is well within reason, but it will take some time to achieve. Android is still fringe.

Gross revenue? (0)

stephanruby (542433) | about a year and a half ago | (#41827711)

Gross revenue only gives us a small part of the picture. Another important measure is net profits. I'm getting tired of these spin-doctored stories.

And yes, I do love my Asus Nexus 7, but I just don't believe Asus made that much money from the transaction. Initially, people even thought that Asus lost money on each Nexus 7 sold (although, that was later dis-proven after the hardware was torn down and accounted for).

Re:Gross revenue? (2)

Andy Prough (2730467) | about a year and a half ago | (#41827721)

They reported net profits of $230 million - up 43% from $160 million last year. Its in the engadget article.

Re:Gross revenue? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41827783)

For comparison sake, this "massive" $230 million profit can be compared to Apple's $15 Billion profit for the quarter.

Re:Gross revenue? (4, Informative)

Andy Prough (2730467) | about a year and a half ago | (#41827799)

Apple reported an $8.2 billion net profit for the quarter, not $15 billion. It was up 24% from $6.6 billion in the same quarter last year. http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2012/10/25Apple-Reports-Fourth-Quarter-Results.html [apple.com]

Re:Gross revenue? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41827861)

sorry, i thought we were talking gross profit but after looking at the asus number, you are correct that it is net profit instead.

Re:Gross revenue? (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about a year and a half ago | (#41829045)

Pffft... with that, Apple could barely construct and equip a nuclear aircraft carrier!

Re:Gross revenue? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41829185)

Shhh, don't give them ideas. They may build one and head towards South Korea...

nexus 7 i hardly open (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41827739)

If the nexus 7 is the most open tablet experience possible I have a terrible dystopian future for you. Now if it was running linux (i don't mean the advertising giant's linux re-imagined to track you, i mean something like plasma active) had a usb port, hdmi port and a sd card, then it would be a different story.

Re:nexus 7 i hardly open (1)

rtfa-troll (1340807) | about a year and a half ago | (#41827869)

If the nexus 7 is the most open tablet experience possible I have a terrible dystopian future for you. Now if it was running linux (i don't mean the advertising giant's linux re-imagined to track you, i mean something like plasma active) had a usb port, hdmi port and a sd card, then it would be a different story.

The Nexus does have a USB port; Oh, you say, but that's device only. No; just buy one of these cables [google.com] and you have a USB host port you can connect to a hub.

Once you've got that + a version of Ubuntu which works on the device, getting Plasma Active running should be "trivial".

It looks like the distopian future does have an escape clause.

Re:nexus 7 i hardly open (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41827967)

Does that cable power your device at the same time?

Yes ubuntu (and even kubuntu) does work but you'll have to port your own apps. It most defiantly is not trivial to install plasma active unless you can write your own loader (i've been looking into it)

It's more open than the ipad, though that is hardly a feat, but it has nothing on open compared to a 20 year old 486 (and a lot more tracking). I can only see us getting less and less open, but i would love to be properly proven wrong.

Re:nexus 7 i hardly open (1)

rtfa-troll (1340807) | about a year and a half ago | (#41828021)

Does that cable power your device at the same time?

No, I think the OTC standard doesn't support both power and host mode at the same time. The device does support that though. I read on a forum that there has been success is a way of hacking that by connecting power to the correct pins. It would be really nice if someone linked to a pre-made cable which would do both host mode and power.

Re:nexus 7 i hardly open (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about a year and a half ago | (#41828097)

Couldn't you just use the cable into a powered USB hub? I know it's somewhat unsophisticated- especially when trying to be mobile, but the powered hub is supposed to solve power deficiency problems on regular devices. I suppose you could even rig a battery and charger to it. I don't know if there are any already like that or not.

Re:nexus 7 i hardly open (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41828229)

You could power the devices you hook up to the hub, but i don't think it could power/charge the tablet at the same time.

Re:nexus 7 i hardly open (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about a year and a half ago | (#41828255)

Then buy one. X86 tablets have ben around for more than a decade.

And rightly so (3, Insightful)

siddesu (698447) | about a year and a half ago | (#41827789)

I've been using a Nexus 7 since this July, and this is the best tablet of the lot I've tried -- and that includes an Ipad, an Ipad2, the original Galaxy Tab, the 10" galaxy, the galaxy note, a toshiba AT570/36F, several book readers and a couple of hi-end "china tablets". The balance of price, hw specs, OS and apps quality is just right. Finally there is a tablet offering that is worth buying.

ASUS makes darned fine tablets. (4, Informative)

symbolset (646467) | about a year and a half ago | (#41827797)

I adore my TF101. It was killer gear when I bought it last summer and it still is. It gets used by somebody in the house every single day without fail, usually for hours. My grandson (4) takes pictures and videos with it when he's done playing Minecraft and I watch some of them when I have time. My youngest (6) uses it to video chat me up on oovoo. I take it on trips to watch mpeg4's on the plane and Netflix in the hotel. I use it for documentation on the fly, training materials and reference works. I've used it to elevator pitch and present 1080p slideshows in conference rooms. With it and Citrix, various remote desktop apps and the like I can use it to do anything a PC or server can do.

I'm in the biz so I have a house full of IT gear. 4 tablets, 6 servers, a dozen PCs, and more "smart" devices than anybody needs. These outnumber the humans at least 5 to one. The only tech thing that sees more use in my house than this ASUS tablet is the Comcast router that delivers the Internet to all the rest.

The only problem I have with this device is fighting for control of it. Money well spent.

At $200 for the 16GB Nexus 7 tablet from ASUS, there is a good chance there will be more than one of these under my tree on Christmas morning.

Don't call me an Apple hater. My review of the iPads I received on launch day is right there in my /. journal and none could call it anything but "effusive". But Apple's cathedral isn't for me when I can get stuff like this and the Nexus 10 instead.

Recommended.

Openness? I do not think so (3, Informative)

tanveer1979 (530624) | about a year and a half ago | (#41827815)

I am an android user. Used to have a LG-P500, and then got a Galaxy note. My brother owns a Note Tablet(10")
I am a big supported of android, but I do not think the platform is really open.
For example, I recently bought a camera. I went to the merchant site, got it shipped to somebody in USA, and he will bring it to India.
However, if I want to do the same with Nexus 10, I cannot. Google simply says, sorry, devices not enabled in google play in your country.

So I would have to request the person in US to use their credit card to buy, if I want this device.
Software openness and app ecosystem is good, but I somehow do not like the way Google is selling this stuff.

Why not let it be like consumer electronics with multiple points of sale. Heck, google could sell it to anybody in the world, with that person bearing shipping charges.
I can do that with amazon, why not google

And guess what, rumour has it that these devices won't even be launched in India officially(just like the original Nexus were never launched here).

Re:Openness? I do not think so (4, Interesting)

AlphaWolf_HK (692722) | about a year and a half ago | (#41827857)

A lot of that has to do with legal liabilities that need to be sorted out. For example, what are the consequences of providing secure content delivery? In some countries, encryption is illegal, so they may have to make massive re-designs, and do other R&D, which may cost a lot. Along with that, they'll have to figure out if they'll even get a return on investment. Also they may face a public relations backlash for conforming to what the west considers to be oppressive laws.

I imagine that in many cases, they'll simply eat a loss, which is why they'll never market it there. I don't know about India in particular, but I imagine that if there was money to be made there, they would do so.

Re:Openness? I do not think so (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41827901)

Since when was using illegal stuff on linux an issue? Not just watching dvds, all the patents, etc.

Re:Openness? I do not think so (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about a year and a half ago | (#41827989)

Using isn't that big of an issue, if you get caught, it's your ass.

The problem is when a company sells it. Especially when that company is large enough that everyone involve will see dollar signs and possibly an opportunity to take a cut every time they mention the name.

Re:Openness? I do not think so (2)

tanveer1979 (530624) | about a year and a half ago | (#41827911)

No, there are no restrictions in India. Most Android phones make it here(Samsung,LG,Garmin,Dell.....) But nexus never does. I think they do not want to cannibalize Samsung S series which are the largest selling phones in India in the high end market. So it has nothing to do with law, its just equivalent to using a walled garden.

Re:Openness? I do not think so (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41827883)

This has nothing to do with Google, it has to do with trade limitations imposed by host countries.

You can't access YouTube on the day before elections in Brazil. I can't access a bunch of YouTube movies in South Africa "due to copyright restrictions".

And your comparison to Amazon is also unfair. I can't buy anything from Amazon in either US or the UK. They won't sell to South Africa either. There are exceptions to this, but it broadly applies to all electronics.

Re:Openness? I do not think so (1)

tanveer1979 (530624) | about a year and a half ago | (#41827921)

Mobiles phones are not banned in India. You can buy cell phones from Amazon if you want, but you have to pay customs and shipping.
I find it quite amusing that people are so eager to defend google!

Re:Openness? I do not think so (1)

ramsun (62627) | about a year and a half ago | (#41828019)

I live in India, and I can (and have) bought Nexus devices and Android software off Google Play. So their block is not implemented consistently.

Also, this has nothing to do with protecting Samsung. Many sites have restrictions on cross-border transactions. The reasons vary, but the most consistent reason is that the territory is with a different operating unit. For example, Google India would want to launch Nexus in India when they're ready, and so Google USA doesn't sell to Indian customers.

I agree that this is silly. All they have to do is to say warranties apply only in the US. But Google is not the only company doing this.

Re:Openness? I do not think so (2, Insightful)

LordLucless (582312) | about a year and a half ago | (#41828225)

How does the vendor's storefront have anything to do with the openness of their product?

Transformer Infinity 1920x1200 screen (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41827827)

My reason for buying the Asus infinity was the 1920x1200 screen, coupled to the quad core Tegra 3. I needed more processing power and the bigger screen was like 4 Android phones stacked side by side.

*However* If I was to buy today, it would be the Nexus 10. Which I think is made by LG not Asus. That one has a 2560-by-1600 (300ppi) screen and is a little cheaper, but 2 cores slightly faster than each of mine:
http://www.google.com/nexus/10/

The keyboard on the Infinity prime, well I like keyboards, but it clips on, and then only in landscape to make like a laptop. I would have preferred a drop-in docking station with a keyboard, since I only ever want to take the tablet with me, not the keyboard. I want to just drop it in place and it charges and can use the keyboard. I also want the HDMI on the docking station rather than the tablet, and want to be able to dock it in portrait. Also lose the track pad, I never use it with Android and it's a waste of space. Lose the battery in the keyboard, and thus lose the special power adapter needed for the battery in the keyboard.

Microsoft Surface RT, BTW, the screen has a question mark over it, since it seems to be a 1280x800 stretch screen. Not the 1366x768 they claim.
iFixit found it was a LTL106AL01-002
http://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/Microsoft+Surface+Teardown/11275/2

Which is a 1280x800 wide pixel unit and matches the original surface developer kit requirements:
http://www.alibaba.com/product-gs/664763875/LTL106AL01_002_laptop_led_screen.html

So somebody with a microscope needs to take a look at Microsoft's screen and see if they're short changing you.

Re:Transformer Infinity 1920x1200 screen (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41828009)

nexus 10 is samsung nexus 4 is LG.

I still want a quality, cheap, powerful PC (1, Interesting)

jsepeta (412566) | about a year and a half ago | (#41827839)

i don't care so much about the brand name. i just want a kickass pc that doesn't cost 2 weeks salary. it has to be reliable, fast, and made from metal not crappy ass rounded plastic.

Re:I still want a quality, cheap, powerful PC (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | about a year and a half ago | (#41827985)

Firstly, "cheap" and "quality" are antonyms. Secondly, the saying goes "Cheap. Small. Fast. Pick two." Your desktop PC will cost around the same as an iPad, be quite a bit faster in all tasks, but will take up around 30x the volume. Equally your Nokia dumb phone costs £30, weighs less than a cup of coffee, but has the processing power of a toaster. Thirdly, Quality Assurance for your fast, reliable PC costs money, and you're going to pay for it. If you want cheap, buy $ChineseRipOff.

Did I just get trolled, or do you really have the mentality of a child? I'm not trying to insult you; You need to sort it out if you really think someone is just waiting to give you that pony you've always wanted.

Re:I still want a quality, cheap, powerful PC (1)

Stuarticus (1205322) | about a year and a half ago | (#41828429)

"Cheap" and "quality" are not necessarily antonyms, that would depend on which definition of "cheap" was used. Something can be inexpensive and good quality.

Re:I still want a quality, cheap, powerful PC (1)

Dodgy G33za (1669772) | about a year and a half ago | (#41828895)

You have no idea...

I bought my first PC in 1986 for 1500 UK pounds. At the time was almost a third of my annual pre-tax salary so I needed a loan to buy it. I used it to hone my coding skills and my salary increased five fold by 1990.

PC's have come down massively in the last few years, and continue to improve in performance. Don't know so much about reliability and sturdiness though. My first PC weighed a ton and would have survived a nuclear attack.

Two ways you can get what you want. Either get a better paid job. Or wait. Do both for best results with your goal.

Props to ASUS (1)

B33RM17 (1243330) | about a year and a half ago | (#41827855)

It's good to see Asus posting a healthy profit thanks to their Android offerings. I'm sure the Nexus 7 was a good chunk of that.

Also, I wasn't surprised they mentioned HTC and their recent market woes. After buying the latest iteration of the EVO, I'm convinced they screwed themselves into this position with their own software. The build quality of their phone is top notch with the One series. However, the most recent releases of their Sense UI skin for Android have been some of the most bloated software I've ever used. This phone was lagging and taking it's sweet time loading anything within a few hours out of the box. Definitely a turn off for customer. I understand they want to differentiate their product and add increased value to the customer, but AOSP Android has been great since Ice Cream Sandwich. HTC really should stop trying to fix what isn't broken and offer some AOSP devices, along with some that have a much less cumbersome version of their framework added on. Sense has some features I really miss after putting a Jelly Bean ROM on my phone, but they definitely aren't compelling enough to make me switch back. /rant

Also, I'm curious to see if their Windows Phone 8 offerings start selling better than their Android phones. The WP8 devices have been getting some great reviews.

Re:Props to ASUS (1)

Simon Brooke (45012) | about a year and a half ago | (#41828511)

Couldn't agree more about your comments on HTC. I have an HTC One X. It's a fine phone, powerful, stylish, well featured. But the HTC add-ons really bring it down, to the extent that I won't buy another HTC unless they sell stock Android.

Re:Props to ASUS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41828575)

Same here. This will probably be the last device I buy from them unless they get their act together and start listening to what customers want. Once my contract is up, or I find a way to break out of it, I'm going Nexus all the way.

Open (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41827887)

With sympathy to openness, some credit must be with the rampant piracy, content theft and counterfeiting aided by google's disinterest for developers.
Let me put it this way: I make 8 times more on a Symbian version of apps then on android.

Largest personal computer manufacture? (5, Informative)

drkim (1559875) | about a year and a half ago | (#41827915)

I have to question the original post statement,

now that Apple is the largest personal computer manufacturer

I can only assume you are referring to market capitalization, and not actual computers sold.

As far as computers sold, it would be (third quarter 2012):

Worldwide:
Lenovo Group Ltd., 13.8 million shipped worldwide, 15.7 percent share
Hewlett-Packard Co., 13.6 million shipped, 15.5 percent
Dell Inc., 9.2 million, 10.5 percent
Acer Group, 8.6 million, 9.9 percent
AsusTek Computer Inc., 6.4 million, 7.3 percent
Others, 36.0 million, 41.1 percent.
Total: 87.5 million

United States:
Hewlett-Packard Co., 4.1 million shipped in U.S., 27.0 percent share
Dell Inc., 3.3 million, 21.4 percent
Apple Inc., 2.1 million, 13.6 percent
Lenovo Group Ltd., 1.4 million, 8.9 percent
Acer Group, 989,725, 6.5 percent.
Toshiba, 989,600, 6.5 percent
Others, 2.5 million, 16.2 percent.
Total: 15.3 million

Source: Gartner

Re:Largest personal computer manufacture? (1)

rtfa-troll (1340807) | about a year and a half ago | (#41827981)

Sorry; I meant to link to either this article [informationweek.com] or this article [blogs.com] which would have made it clear what the measure was. It's personal computers in the strict sense of computers which designed for use by one person as opposed to "PCs" as in IBM PC clones.

Re:Largest personal computer manufacture? (4, Interesting)

LodCrappo (705968) | about a year and a half ago | (#41828439)

Sorry, an article from appleinsider.com full of quotes from Tim Cook (and only Tim Cook, not a single outside analyst) doesn't hold much merit. It's marketing, not fact or news.

As for your other "source", it doesn't support your claims at all.

> Coulling believes that tablets will continue to pressure PC and notebook sales "in the short term,"

How exactly does an analyst predicting short term pressure on the PC market translate into the iPad eliminating the PC market? Where do you people come up with this crap?

Also interesting that both of your sources are from 10 months ago. Maybe that's because more recent numbers show a decline in iPad sales?

http://www.unwiredview.com/2012/10/26/apple-reports-q3-2012-results-iphone-sales-up-ipad-sales-down/ [unwiredview.com]

Re:Largest personal computer manufacture? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41828705)

Sorry; I meant to link to either this article [informationweek.com] or this article [blogs.com] which would have made it clear what the measure was. It's personal computers in the strict sense of computers which designed for use by one person as opposed to "PCs" as in IBM PC clones.

So I guess we can dismiss apple's "post-pc era" bullshit then?

and a mac is not a pc, a pc is not a pc, but ipads is a pc?

Re:Largest personal computer manufacture? (1, Insightful)

jovius (974690) | about a year and a half ago | (#41828041)

You can count them as shipped laptops/desktops, but a laptop for example is essentially the same as a tablet. The difference is that for a tablet a keyboard etc are accessories, whereas in laptops they are built in. The same goes with mobile phones. They are all personal computers, which today are packed with more power and features than the PC's of the past. The field is being miniaturized and diversified, as the concept of personal computer detaches from the rigid paradigm and moves towards the network mimicking its features; thus becoming less physical.

Re:Largest personal computer manufacture? (2)

LodCrappo (705968) | about a year and a half ago | (#41828309)

...a laptop for example is essentially the same as a tablet except that a laptop can run the software businesses have spent the last 30 years developing, and the tablet can't

ftfy

Re:Largest personal computer manufacture? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year and a half ago | (#41828411)

...a laptop for example is essentially the same as a tablet except that a laptop can run the software businesses have spent the last 30 years developing, and the tablet can't

don't worry, Microsoft is fucking things up again in Windows 8 to break a bunch of that stuff, so that they can sell the users more shit, so that doesn't differentiate a tablet from a PC.

Re:Largest personal computer manufacture? (1)

jovius (974690) | about a year and a half ago | (#41828513)

The field is inevitably changing. The number of different devices is hugely different than 30 years ago, and the software/hardware will adapt. Besides you can run the same software via virtualization. It's entirely possible to use Windows for example with an iPad today.

Re:Largest personal computer manufacture? (1)

LodCrappo (705968) | about a year and a half ago | (#41828589)

Everyone knows its possible, but most people realize its not practical. Try telling the average office worker with two 24 inch monitors, a full keyboard and a mouse on their desk that now they'll be using a remote windows session on a 10 inch screen. See how that goes over.

As far as "the software will adapt".... I suspect you haven't actually seen the software most businesses run on. Even in places where adapting to a tablet is possible, it is an expense that has to be justified.

Average IT guy to phb: "We need to rewrite the legacy inventory system"
PHB: "No."
IT guy: "but it doesn't run on tablets. it's horrible to use with a touch screen."
PHB: "Why do we care?"
IT guy: "bbbbbbut ipad, tablet, post-pc, cloud!?!"
PHB: "No."

Replace "tablet" with every other buzzword tech that has happened over the past few decades, repeat process above. There's the history of most business software.

Re:Largest personal computer manufacture? (1)

marcosdumay (620877) | about a year and a half ago | (#41829083)

I can only assume you are referring to market capitalization, and not actual computers sold.

Whatever it is, I'm completely sure the GP wasn't refering to computers manufactured, since Apple doesn't manufacture computers. What, by the way, is a strange feature for the "largest personal computer manufacturer"...

Collapse? (1)

CxDoo (918501) | about a year and a half ago | (#41827937)

rtfa-troll writes

Indeed.

Re:Collapse? (1)

rtfa-troll (1340807) | about a year and a half ago | (#41827999)

From the summary of linked discussion.

"How bad is HTC's current tailspin? So bad it makes Nokia look like a growth company. HTC's handset volume declined by -43% in the autumn quarter vs. Nokia's -23% volume decline.

By comparison with that "collapse" looks like a pretty safe way of putting it, so much so that I was a bit worried about understating it. Personally I don't think a single quarter fall back in volumes can reasonably be compared to a sustained quarter after quarter loss of sales. I guess that once they stop pushing Windows phones over their Android ones HTC will begin to recover.

Huh? (5, Insightful)

Robert Zenz (1680268) | about a year and a half ago | (#41827945)

The collapse of the PC market has had much discussion on Slashdot with a common opinion that, now that Apple is the largest personal computer manufacturer, a loss of sales combined with Apple's iPad will completely eliminate most of them.

The PC Market was collapsing? Apple is now the biggest PC manufacturer? We will all now use iPads instead a Desktop-PC? ... ... ... WHAT THE...

Re:Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41828259)

It's social engineering. Spread bullshit often enough, and people start believing it.

Worked wonders with the "intellectual property" lie. Once hated all-around the Internet... with you getting basically mod-stabbed (and rightfully so) for defending it on Slashdot... And now you get modded down for even mentioning that it is a lie. (Note that nobody of those doing the modding have actually ever thought about it. Let alone explored the physical reality of how that should work. [It doesn't, and never can.] They just follow the groupthink. And since they are not forced to comment, they don't even have to touch that emptiness.)

"As PC sales collapse" (5, Informative)

Lincolnshire Poacher (1205798) | about a year and a half ago | (#41828053)

All aboard the hyperbole bus!

Still 87.5 million PCs [engadget.com] ( desktops and laptops ) shipped worldwide in Q3 2012. Yes, MILLIONS.

Some vendors saw a decline of 10% year-on-year. Painful, but that's not a collapse.

In comparison in Q3 2012 Apple shipped 17 million iPads.

So can we please stop saying that tablets have destroyed the PC market?

Re:"As PC sales collapse" (3, Insightful)

tommasorepetti (2485820) | about a year and a half ago | (#41828277)

I keep hearing this phrase repeated in almost every article about tablets. So people have stopped doing work on computers? Technology journalism has really confused the computing industry with glitzy consumer trends. So long as people need to actually produce something there will always been a need for general-purpose computers. Tablets are, in every sense, devices for consuming, not creating. They are damned good at delivering content in a compelling way, and are a great way to store a technical library if you actually want to reference it while you are at work. But that work is being done on a computer. I would argue that those who say that a tablet can give them as much or more functionality than a tradition laptop or desktop were never really making use of the computer in the first place. You might add that you can just get a keyboard for your tablet. I would not disagree. I am just curious why you would buy an underpowered laptop that cannot even be used on your lap when there are conventional PC models that are a better value.

Re:"As PC sales collapse" (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year and a half ago | (#41828417)

87.5 million PCs shipped worldwide. Ignoring for a moment how many of those PCs will end up landfilled or surplused without actually being installed, there's also the issue that you're comparing all PCs sold worldwide with tablets sold by one company.

I do agree with you that tablets haven't yet destroyed the PC market. And I don't really think they will ever destroy it. I am, however, convinced that tablets will surpass desktops.

Re:"As PC sales collapse" (1)

marcosdumay (620877) | about a year and a half ago | (#41829147)

Ignoring for a moment how many of those PCs will end up landfilled or surplused without actually being installed...

Those are way less than the amount of tablets that will be in a landfill two years from now.

That's even the reason the PC market is "colapsing", PCs aren't going to a landfill anymore untill they stop working.

THERE IS NO COLLAPLE! STOP THE BULLSHIT! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41828227)

It's deliberate bullshit propaganda, to spread the typical delusion of the neckbearded fag that's jacking off onto his gayPad.

"post-PC era" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41828231)

This whole post-pc era meme is a load of shit.
Tablets are ok for watching Hulu on the train or whatever, but they are about damned near useless for most real work - even including typing on pages like Slashdot. (Though some android laptops may be ok for that...). What's more, even if PCs shrink to a smaller segment because there are more casual users than serious ones, there certainly are serious users for whom tablets won't even come close to sufficing. Even more to the point, if you include servers in your definition of "PC" (I do, if PC means an x86 box instead of a "personal computer") - then think of all the servers that have to be provisioned by the likes of apple and google to handle the services for all these smartphones and tablets with system specifications too anemic to actually, say, store a detailed map of the world or do local voice recognition.

True Desktop & Laptops (1)

justcauseisjustthat (1150803) | about a year and a half ago | (#41828249)

The sad part is, as tablet, phablets and phones take over computing needs for 70-90% of the population, the developers, etc that need more capabilities will end up paying more and more as the market shrinks.

Nonsense... (1)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | about a year and a half ago | (#41828491)

My first company PC was a Dell with a 12.5HMz 286 CPU that cost $4500 in about1986. My first development laptop running a modern OS cost over $3000. My current development laptop is an Asus N56V with 22nm i7, 16G of RAM, a 1920 by 1080 screen, and cost about $1200. It runs SQL Server 2012 and every IDE I need far more than adequately. Development machines aren't a huge market anyway, but the truth is you do not have to pay MacBook prices for the ability to run loads of phone and tablet VMs (OK, not Apple...but Android and BB OS 10, for starters) and do effective development.

If anything, if working computers become less mainstream and more aligned to production needs, some of the more annoying features should go away.

Re:Nonsense... (1)

justcauseisjustthat (1150803) | about a year and a half ago | (#41828545)

Nonsense back at ya, you're referring to the pricing of systems from when few people had them to when many people had them (otherwise known as commoditizing) , I'm referring to the opposite process... As fewer and fewer people use desktop PCs, prices will start climbing again (but I have no idea how high that is).

Who the fuck wrote this summary (4, Insightful)

LodCrappo (705968) | about a year and a half ago | (#41828293)

"...a common opinion that, now that Apple is the largest personal computer manufacturer, a loss of sales combined with Apple's iPad will completely eliminate most of them."

How on earth can someone describe the opinion that Apple's tablet is going to "completely eliminate" most PC manufacturers as "common"? (!?!)

Only someone who ignores reality completely could come to such a misguided conclusion... let me guess.. big Apple fan?

News flash: nearly 90 million PCs sold in Q3. 8 times the number of tablets sold. The PC is already commonplace and suffers from it's own success in that they have become so reliable and so capable that upgrades and replacements just aren't that common. The tablet is brand new and new models with compelling improvements come out every few months. Yet still we see massively more PCs sold than tablets.

A single manufacturer of tablets is going to completely eliminate the PC industry?

Sorry, no.

Re:Who the fuck wrote this summary (0)

Swampash (1131503) | about a year and a half ago | (#41828623)

I guess you skipped reading comprehension in school, yeah?

Re:Who the fuck wrote this summary (1)

LodCrappo (705968) | about a year and a half ago | (#41828659)

Given that you feel I have poor reading comprehension skills one would think you'd be a little more specific if you actually want me to understand wtf you are on about.

Re:Who the fuck wrote this summary (0)

Swampash (1131503) | about a year and a half ago | (#41828783)

Let's imagine that we're talking about a species of animals and their long-term prospects.

You know, it's a pretty common opinion that an asteroid impact combined with poor diet will completely eliminate most of them.

Can you work out the rest?

No Asus in Greece (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41828405)

As far as I can tell, you cannot buy or order Asus in Greece. Am I wrong?

Skeptical it's due to tablets (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41828531)

ASUS made decent, quality motherboards for years before getting into the "whole PC" market. Whenever I went shopping for parts to build a machine from scratch, they were the ones I bought, and they still are. They started out as independent parts suppliers, then started making them for major vendors (e.g., HP), then eventually started making and marketing whole machines, both desktop and laptop. I think that has more to do with their success than anything to do with tablets. They've basically turned themselves from a parts supplier to a full computer manufacturer.

Collapse? (1)

Hadlock (143607) | about a year and a half ago | (#41828553)

Really? The PC market has collapsed? They haven't started handing out iPads at work, and I don't know of a store that will sell you microsoft office to load on your iPad. At worst, I would call it a "Gradual tapering off of the incredible growth over the last twenty five years". iPad growth has exploded, but I have yet to see any numbers that show PCs actually decline in double digit numbers. The worst I've seen has been 4% year over year... which is about how the economy is doing depending on how you look at the numbers.

Re:Collapse? (1)

LodCrappo (705968) | about a year and a half ago | (#41828641)

Totally agree. PCs have matured enormously in the past 10 years. They have hit a sort of plateau in terms of power and reliability. Combine less compelling reasons to replace/upgrade than we've seen in recent history with the current economy and a slight decline actually looks pretty good.

Collapse for the muggles... (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about a year and a half ago | (#41828731)

I still use laptops and desktops heavily. But I actually USE a computer unlike 99% of the people out there. I write software for multiple platforms, I also edit professional video and have a 8 core monster for rendering. but then I used to have a power-mac and a stack of 12 hacked AppleTV-1's running OSX as a Final cut render farm. I still hate that apple turned final cut into iMovie....

Anyways, there will ALWAYS be a market for pc's and high end laptops. I just wish that high end operating systems like linux would have video editing software that was not crap (everything for the linux platofrm for video editing is utter crap, yes I tried all of it... it's all useless crap) Or had a comparable replacement for lightroom. No, none of the OSS photo management apps can even get close to lightroom. Gimp is usable as a replacement for Photoshop despite what the whiners say. And office is a very suitable replacement, again despite the whiners. But there are huge gaping holes in the OSS world for heavy lifting. I just hope that apple does not further dumb down final cut, and that windows does not continue it's downward spiral as the only other real editing platforms are on Windows (AVID and Vegas)

Lickily Linux has it all wrapped up for software development with the best platform. well except for ios development. I still need a mac for that. but everything else that matters is easily programmed for under linux.

massive $230 million profits (0)

Swampash (1131503) | about a year and a half ago | (#41828737)

Or, put another way, the amount of profit Apple generates every two and a half days.

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