Asustek Retracts, Puts Qualcomm Android Eee PC on Ice

Jun 04, 2009

June 1 Qualcomm presented its new superflat Eee PC with Snapdragon chipset and Xandros or Android to the public. But the enthusiasm waned shortly thereafter.

The Eee PC wasn't yet market ready, said Jonathan Tsang, vice chairman of Asutek, at the sidelines of a press conference at Computex Teipei, according to an ComputerWorld. Tsang added, "For the time being this project is not a priority because our engineering resources are limited."

This might be believable under circumstances, but it gets better: Asustek chairman Jonney Shih himself apologized at the press conference that the Android notebook was even displayed at Qualcomm's booth, as Gizmodo reports. "I think this is a company decision so far [that] we would not like to show this device."

It begs the question, to whom is he apologizing? Perhaps to the vice president of their OEM Microsoft, Steven Guggenheim, who stood with him onstage, or to Intel's vice president Sean Maloney? Both were there to strengthen further collaboration with Asustek. But, at least for Microsoft, a Linux netbook in the works has not been high on its list.

As presented, the Qualcomm Eee PC not only looks fantastic, but would come at a markedly better price than the Intel model from Windows, the Eee PC chip is fanless and it plays back 720p videos flawlessly. Microsoft naturally wouldn't want a competitor to ruin its Christmas season and most likely pulled the emergency brake. Acer Inc. should be happy with that, according to Reuters: the world's number three PC brand has already announced an Android netbook for the third quarter of 2009.

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