During Computex, I had a chance to sit down with Mr. David Chien, the Director of BU5 at ECS for a few minutes. In a candid interview, he described ECS’ position as much better than most of his competitors (ASUS, MSI etc.) at the moment. He backed his claim by asking us to look at [...]
During Computex, I had a chance to sit down with Mr. David Chien, the Director of BU5 at ECS for a few minutes. In a candid interview, he described ECS’ position as much better than most of his competitors (ASUS, MSI etc.) at the moment. He backed his claim by asking us to look at the excessive inventory these companies currently have at hand. ECS, he said, had predicted the dip in sales and thus started cutting manufacturing from Q2 of last year.
When we asked about the new products from ECS, he said that they will be focusing more on their Black series, which is their higher-end solution. It started with motherboards for AMD and Intel CPUs but has now progressed to VGA cards as well. As we saw at Computex, ECS indeed had quite a few “Black” series graphics cards which they stated would be overclocked about 15% out of the box.
Besides the Black series, he said that we will also see stylish PCs from ECS targeted towards Younger generation as well as All-in-One systems. The Urn looking PC that I saw at Computex certainly proved his point- it was a PC unlike anything I had seen before and I recommend you check out this video. He also said that 1Litre small form factor PCs are getting popular- taking over their previous 3Litre design.
On the Notebook side, he said that ECS will continue focusing on OEM/ODM instead of bringing products under their own name. He mentioned Intel’s Classmate PC which was manufactured by ECS. I asked him about the Android based Smartbook I saw at their stand. He said that was a work-in-progress model at the moment and if ever materialized, will probably be an OEM product for someone else. Another market he said that ECS is into is CKD or Component Kit Development where ECS provides all the parts for the end product but the product is actually assembled by the buyer. He said this type of arrangement was popular in South America.
We asked him if ECS would focus more on their own brand compared to being an OEM/ODM. He replied that at the moment ECS doesn’t have the resources to split between an OEM business as well as a brand name. He said that his company is quite happy where it currently is. Besides, their core business is still components and unlike other manufacturers like MSI, Gigabyte and ASUS that are shifting their focus on Netbooks, ECS will continue to focus on its core business.
He said the components market will remain ECS’ area on interest until Intel makes the switch to chips based systems. He predicts that will start happening next year- Intel will start promoting systems more than components such as CPUs and chipsets. He said that this will lead to all new kinds of system designs that will be more art than science.
He also spoke about Intel not being very happy with the Atom which I found a bit surprising. He said that the low cost of Atom dropped the profit margin for Intel and thus we won’t see the Atom being advertised as much in the current months. Instead, he said, that CULV will be the main focus for Intel where their profit margins remain healthier. Considering the recent launch of ASUS U series and MSI’s X series, I think he is spot on. However, when I mentioned that Atom has become too popular to just disappear, he said that you’ll only see Atom based netbooks if Intel provides manufacturers with CPU.
But then what about other competitors I asked- that will be more than happy to fill the void left by Atom? He said is the reason they’re looking into OMAP based products such as the Atom Smartbook we saw. He mentioned that AMD has had a CULV processor for quite some time as well and that’s what they should focus on. He agreed with me that AMD needs to improve battery life to be competitive with Intel on these small and light notebooks. With regards to VIA, he said VIA has no chance at all with their older die with expensive costs. He also suggests that nVidia should give up their chipset business in the future, again citing die costs. He feels that nVidia should focus more on their core product- the GPU.
Some pretty strong words to end the interview with. But then again, they come from a company that is amongst the biggest manufacturers of computer products so one shouldn’t take them lightly. I would like to thank Mr. David Chien for his time and wish ECS the best of luck.