Asustek joins tablet PC race; launches app store

TAIPEI, May 31 (BestGrowthStock) – Netbook PC pioneer Asustek
Computer Inc (2357.TW: ) has become the latest technology company
to jump on the tablet PC bandwagon on Monday, joining cross-town
rival Acer Inc (2353.TW: ) in jostling with Apple Inc (Read more about Apple stock future.) (AAPL.O: ) in
the nascent sector.

The tablet PC, to be called the Eee Pad, will run on Intel
Corp (INTC.O: ) or ARM Holdings (ARM.L: ) chips, and use Microsoft
Corp’s (MSFT.O: ) Windows operating system, Chairman Jonney Shih
said ahead of the Computex fair, the world’s second-largest PC
exhibition.

“The Eee Pad can display Adobe flash for the full web
experience, has a USB port and a camera,” Shih said. “We looked
at how we could best address the needs of users from all walks of
life, and I believe this is the product.”

Apple has not made its iPad or iPhone compatible with Adobe
Systems Inc’s (ADBE.O: ) popular flash multimedia software, calling
it unreliable, a “closed” proprietary system and ill-suited for
mobile devices. [ID:nN29109986]

The iPad does not have a camera or USB ports.

Asustek did not release pricing details or a potential
release date. It has previously showcased products at trade fairs
that never made it to sale.

Asustek was also working with Intel and Microsoft to push out
its own version of an app store, Shih said, joining other
technology companies such as Nokia Corp (NOK1V.HE: ) in trying to
beef up their software offerings to compete with Apple.

Shih did not give further details on the format or a launch
date for the new app store. Apple has an online offering of more
than 200,000 applications while Google Inc (Read more about Google Stock Analysis)’s (GOOG.O: ) Android has
about 38,000.

“It’s all about the platform if Asustek really wants to do
well in this field,” said Edward Yen, an analyst at UBS. “I’m
sure the hardware is fine, but the biggest question now is how
it’s going to attract enough users to create the critical mass
needed for an app store.”

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(Reporting by Kelvin Soh; Editing by Chris Lewis)

Asustek joins tablet PC race; launches app store