Asustek blames Win8 for poor sales

asus-buildingAsustek has cut its Q2 forecast for notebook and tablet shipments and unsurprisingly it is blaming soft demand for Windows 8 for its woes.

The company now expects its second-quarter notebook shipments to fall 10 percent sequentially to 4.23 million units. Back in May the Taiwanese outfit said it hopes to ship 4.8 million notebooks in the second quarter.

Surprisingly tablet shipments were also revised downward by 10 percent to 2.7 million units. Since Asus is moaning about Windows and it is expected to have a strong Android lineup, this may indicate that demand for Windows 8 tablets is even worse than expected – and it wasn’t very optimistic to begin with.

The gloomy figures were delivered by Asustek CFO David Chang during a shareholder meeting on Monday, but he also had a caveat. Chang pointed out that notebook and tablet shipments are poised to grow significantly in the third quarter, thanks to new product launches. Fourth quarter sales should remain flat, or see small gains. Despite the revised forecast, Chang said the company is on track to meet its original goal of shipping 20 to 25 million notebooks and 12 million tablets this year, reports Focus Taiwan.

Asustek CEO Jerry Shen also hinted at a strategic shift from PCs to tablets, which already make up 15 to 20 percent of the company’s revenue. By the second half of the year they might contribute between 20 and 30 percent, as the company managed to boost margins on tablets to a similar level to notebook margins. Shen said this was done by clever research and development, with a pinch of cost cutting.

Needless to say this is very good news for Asus, as the company already has a top notch Android tablet portfolio, from the low-end to its posh Transformer series. Cutting tablet production costs is also good news for Windows tablets in the long run, but they won’t do well this year.