ASUS predicts the need for five billion cheap PCs by 2011

Posted by Theo Valich

Taipei (TW) – During annual DRAM eXchange conference, Samsung Ho (General Manager of ASUS EPC division) held a presentation that brought some interesting figures to limelight. He argued the case of several researchers that claim how Low-Cost PC's (LCPC) will have limited impact on market with brave predictions, even citing future shortage of components for building low-cost PCs, which might cause spike in prices of those products.

Taipei (TW) – During annual DRAM eXchange conference, Samsung Ho (General Manager of ASUS EPC division) held a presentation that brought some interesting figures to limelight. First of all, he argued the case of several researchers that claim how Low-Cost PC's (LCPC) will have limited impact on market with brave predictions, even citing future shortage of components for building low-cost PCs, which might cause spike in prices of those products.

The hard numbers are following:
High income ($36K/year): 410 million people does not own a PC (41.1%)
Upper middle income ($6K/y): 700 million people does now own a computer (87.75%)
Lower middle income ($2K/y): 2 billion people does not own a computer (95%)
Low income ($650/y): 2.3 billion people (98.5%)

At the same time, Samson reiterated that overall global market for notebooks is expected to be just around 220 million units, with LCPC taking around 50 million. While 50 million LCPCs is a hefty number of AMD Geode/Athlon, Intel Atom/Celeron, Nvidia Tegra, and VIA C7/CN processors, it still falls short by billions of required numbers.

Nicholas Negroponte recently stated that OLPC should cost $50 in 2011 - ASUS agrees with OLPC idea and will push for more affordable PCs. 5.4 billion people without computers offers incredible potential for knowledge growth, because PC is the way to open ways to expanding knowledge in undeveloped countries. And expansion of knowledge is the only way to exterminate poverty and wars.

So, if there was any doubt in mind is there a market for LCPC market, be assured that the need for affordable computing is actually measured in billions of units, not millions.