Will be making more products for creators, Asus executive says

Asus, known for its high-end gaming and ROG series, is now looking to dominate the Indian PC market across segments and price points

June 14, 2023 10:59 am | Updated 12:53 pm IST

(From left) Sam Huang, Country Product Manager PC, Asus India, and Arnold Su, Vice President, Consumer & Gaming PC, System Business Group, Asus.

(From left) Sam Huang, Country Product Manager PC, Asus India, and Arnold Su, Vice President, Consumer & Gaming PC, System Business Group, Asus. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangament

With the burgeoning interest in performance-oriented devices, Asus is looking to expand its footprint beyond high-end performance laptops, and in the creator segment with high-spec devices at lower price points.

In an exclusive interaction with The Hindu, Arnold Su, Vice President, Consumer & Gaming PC, System Business Group, and Sam Huang, Country Product Manager PC, Asus India, talk about the company’s plans and positioning for India, the impact of cloud gaming on hardware, and more.

Edited excerpts:

How do you see the emergence of AI in public use impacting devices, especially in the workspace, and the creative market?

Arnold Su: For now, we don’t see much impact. AI will provide a helping hand for working professionals to improve efficiency and it is changing the way you search. We need to pay attention to AI and see how it develops further. Right now, it is still in the initial stage. In the future with more developments, there might be a possibility that we will see a change. So, we need to keep an eye on it.

What is your take on text-to-image prompts being used by creators, do you think it will impact the devices they choose to work on?

Su: For the graphics solution, we have more and more laptops that will support the performance of AI development. But for the data decay functions, we are still observing it, and the impact on the hardware. In the future, as the creator market can get bigger if required, we will have more diverse options. For example, dedicated video creators, content creators, and AI developers.

When the market gets bigger, we will further develop different solutions and also support different kinds of software, based on the end users’ demand.

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Do you think cloud gaming could have an impact on the future sales of gaming laptops and PCs?

Su: I think this depends on the overall infrastructure, including the internet and broadband connectivity. There is a possibility that in the coming years, the overall infrastructure will be powerful enough that laptops might be just normal machines. But as of now, we see it’s not that easy, because if you look at devices, they are developed based on use cases.

So, users will still require powerful machines. I think there is a possibility of a shift, but that does not replace the requirements of hardware, as long as they have been adopted.

Sam Huang: Besides the CPU and GPU, there are also thermal solutions, which will require development. Meanwhile, our laptops also provide multitasking functions. So, users have more use-case scenarios for their laptops.

How do you see Asus’ performance in India in the backdrop of a slowdown in global PC shipments?

Su: We will be the number two brand in India in Q1 2023. This will be the first time that we started the year in the number two position. We also see that in quarter one the overall Indian consumer market declined by 20 to 30%. We, however, grew by 7-10%. This means we are performing better in the market. So, as of now, we see a positive rise in the background of these audit numbers.

For us, the availability of the product is very important, we currently have 230 stores in India and are working with around 6,000 dealers to strengthen our overall retail footprint.

What are the key areas of focus for Asus and what will be the company’s strategy in India?

Huang: We did some surveys and research in India and we predict that in the future the laptops will have to be performance oriented.

While we still want to keep our domination in the gaming segment, currently we have more than 35% market share, we also want to continue to be the number one in affordability in high-end devices.

We also want to further grow with more than 40% market share overall. And apart from gaming, there is one segment we would like to try to develop, which is the creator series segment.

There is demand for the creator series, but the end users do not have a choice if they want high-performance laptops, they can only choose from the gaming models and use that as their creative machines, which may not be ideal as they may want to use it in a campus instead of the office. So, we have started to build up our creator line-up and we will be more aggressive in this segment.

With your focus on the gaming and the creator segments, how do you see the budget segment?

Su: For the budget segment, we aim to provide the best solution. Despite our focus on the performance segment our aim remains to ensure good user experience.

Earlier, high-performance laptops were available only in the more than one lakh rupee mark, Asus looks to bring down prices and lead in this segment. Start users now can have the best laptops at below 50k price points.

Budget-friendly device users can also enjoy the benefits of high-end performance. We are also focusing on making devices in this segment thinner and lighter compared to last year. While providing the best solution for our end users no matter the price point or the segment they choose.

What is Asus’ business plan for India in 2023?

Su: We have set very aggressive goals. We lead in the gaming market and in terms of the overall consumer notebook, our goal is to breach 20% of the market share, with a solid 30% market share, and even during the festive season, we are targeting to be the number one brand in India.

So most likely in Q3-Q4, we should be able to touch this point. So, this is our goal. Our business outlook is by the end of this year, we want to be the number one overall in India.

What would you say are the key aspects that set Asus’s laptops apart from others in the market today?

Su: We care more about the user experience. Our CPU and GPU operations provide support for AMD or Nvidia, but the key is to provide a simple solution. To provide better batteries, better keyboards, touchpads, and also displays, all of which are important for our user’s experience. So, the overall user experience is really important.

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