AFRICANGLOBE – Taiwanese tech firm Asus plans to set up its East African hub in Kenya in the first half of this year.
“The company has turned its focus on Africa and we will use Kenya to gain entry into the Eastern Africa market,” said Shawn Chang, Asus regional director in charge of Turkey, Israel and Africa.
The entry of Asus into East Africa follows a well-established pattern where global firms such as Samsung, Hewlett-Packard, LG, Toshiba and Sony have been pitching tent in Nairobi as an entry point into the larger regional market.
Asus is currently running its African operations from South Africa, where it first set foot in 2008.
Chang said the firm has two distributors in Kenya, who also double as service centres and 80 dealers countrywide.
“Based on our quality, variety and price point, we hope consumers will enjoy our new technology.”
In Africa, Asus is present in Kenya, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Nigeria and South Africa. It is eyeing Tanzania, Angola and Libya in the coming year.
It had a revenue of $15.2 billion last year, and is eyeing new markets to grow sales to $19.1 billion by the end of this year.
The Taipei-based company is targeting the growing tech savvy middle class and corporates with its range of touchscreen Windows 8-powered laptops – Zenbook, N and X series; and detachable tablets dubbed Transformer Book, and VivoTab. Asus also manufactures Android tablets under Google’s Nexus brand. It sold more than five million Nexus 7C devices last year.
In February this year, the Asian device maker unveiled the PadFone, a phone-tablet hybrid where the smartphone can dock into the station and seamlessly turn into a tablet.
Data from the International Data Corporation rank Asus third in the global tablet market, shipping 2.7 million units in the first quarter of this year. Asus now has a 5.5 per cent of global market share to trail Apple’s iPad and Samsung; but ahead of Amazon, makers of Kindle e-readers.
By: David Herbling