Sony Vaio, Samsung PC business in Asus’ sights

Asus New Zealand Systems Business Group manager David McKean says Sony and Samsung’s retreat from the laptop market left a gap his company plans to fill.

In February Sony sold the Vaio laptop brand to a Japanese investment firm. At the time Sony said it was dropping the under-performing PC business to concentrate on mobile hardware.

Samsung’s strategy is less clear. Earlier this year it said it was pulling back from many markets to focus on tablets and smartphones. The company still lists laptops and all-in-ones on its New Zealand site.

These moves have left a vacuum in the New Zealand market that Asus intends to fill. The PC business has been under pressure in recent years with falling sales thanks to the growth of tablets and smartphones.

Those left in the game have seen increased pressure on margins. Winning is partly about achieving economies of scale. That could be difficult for Asus in New Zealand as the company is a relative minnow here, not featuring in the top five PC suppliers. However, Asus is a big player in some overseas markets.

Asus PR and marketing manager Sally Vernon says the computer maker is pushing its brand up-market in aiming to fill the gap. She says Asus isn’t widely known in New Zealand for its high-end products, but the products will be here once the brand is better known and establishes a greater market share.