The E3 and Ciomputex shows just eneded this past week in Taiwan .. and major innovations in games, screen technology and computing software and hardware were introduced here. In this era of globalisation, Taiwan with the help and heft of mainland Chinese electronic factories has become a major power in the merging of PC, mobile phones and consumer electronics. And as the NYTimes points out in this slideshow that leadership extends to design and innovations as well as high quality and low cost production. As devices start to merge and synch together their smarts and features (examples: video, photos, GPS, and Web connectivity on smartphones; high quality video and image processing on digital SLRs; Netbooks with huge battery life, video/webcams, Wifi, touchscreen operations; games with Web Connections, TV-set-top box control, video-delivery; etc), Taiwanese firms are no longer waiting on the traditional leaders such as Apple, Canon, Dell, Ericsson, HP, Nikon, Nokia, Panasonic, Sony and others to set the stage. Rather new designs and standards are emerging from Taiwan and taking leading market positions on the World stage.
Nowhere is this more prominent than in the emergence and continuing rapid development of the fastest growing PC segment – Netbooks. From 1million in 2007 to 14 million sold in 2008. Asus was the pioneer of Netbooks (a $250 Linux based lightweight, long battery life laptop) slightly more than a year ago. US companies entered the market and in order to protect their laptop and notebook sales margins bumped up the screen size, added amore disk space and CPU power+speed but at the costs of 50 to 70% increase in weight, shorter battery life and often more than double the cost. Microsoft got in by resurrecting Windows XP and proceeded to garner 90%++ market share but again pushing up costs. But instead of caving in, the E3+Computex show saw Taiwanese and Southeast Asian companies redoubling their electronic bets.
For example at the E3 and Computex shows a new generation of Netbooks are being proposed – and their features and functions are being set by Taiwanese manufactures like Acer, Asus, MSI and a hoard of other South East Asian players. CNET describes the Taiwanese-lead trends towards touchscreen, Google Android powered, ARM processor(cheaper and longer life) and phone-enabled Netbooks. These are features being developed by Taiwanese companies but being adopted by big US and European telecoms like Verizon and T-Mobile. The inevitable conclusion is that in the demanding era of electronic design convergence and innovation, World companies are adopting World solutions and those are increasingly Taiwan+China in origin.