In the PC Wars, the Asians Have a Clear Advantage

According to Roger K.Lay

As the balance of power in many domains shifts from the U.S. to China, computer makers are also refocusing their strategies to include a larger China component. China is critical as both a market and a supply base. And Asian vendors have become serious rivals to the top U.S. companies, many of which are beset by persistent management dramas and palace intrigue.

For years, the equation was clear: Large PC brands were American, the big makers were Taiwanese, and China was, at best, a low-cost production site. Today several of the former Taiwanese makers have become international brands, and mainland China has risen to become a full player as both customer and supplier. The Chinese leader, Lenovo Group, is the fourth-largest PC vendor in the world. No. 2 is Taiwan's Acer.

So who's winning? My call is that the Asian brands have a long-term advantage. Top-ranked Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) and No. 3 Dell (DELL) share characteristics absent in the Asian vendors: Both face various legal troubles and leadership turmoil. Both have seen a string of executive and board departures. Dell has been able to settle most, but not all, of its lawsuits. HP faces yet another regulatory probe over its split with former chief Mark Hurd. Both continuously bleed high-level talent. Meanwhile, Acer, Lenovo, and Asus, another Taiwanese firm, now in the sixth spot, slowly and steadily build their international presence.

The U.S. and China represent big battlegrounds for all these vendors, must-wins in the market share wars.


In China, the Taiwanese are striving to overcome an important long-term handicap: They are identified with what Chinese political leadership regards as a renegade Chinese province. Recently, however, commercial relations between Taiwan and the mainland have become so intermingled that money, people, and technology now flow between the two relatively freely, characterized by the resumption of direct air service in 2008.

Principal competitors in China include Lenovo, with a 29 percent share, and HP and Dell, with about 10 percent each, according to IDC. Acer, Asus, and domestic players Tongfang (600100:CH) and Founder Group all have market shares in the single digits. In the U.S., the picture is quite different: HP and Dell are the clear leaders, Acer is half as large as either of them, Lenovo is half the size of Acer, and Asus is half that figure.

The path the Asians are on does not lead straight to the top, however. Until about six months ago, they were on a steady march, gaining in share and making an early mark in a new popular category, netbooks. These low-cost notebooks added substantially to unit shipment numbers but little sales or profit. Meanwhile, the U.S. companies, struggling with management departures, boardroom issues, and federal investigations, appeared to be losing focus.

New Indian C-130J expected at Bangalore for Aero-India 2011

asian defence and technology
The first C-130J is planned to deploy to Bangalore for Aero-India 2011 show. These planes will support India’s Special Forces’ operations, and operate from Hindan Indian Air Force (IAF) base near New Delhi. When fully operational, the C-130J will dramatically increase the rapid deployment of India’s Special Forces from the capital to other regions in India and abroad. Presently, 18 pilots, nine load masters and nine combat system operators are being trained in the US.

The aircraft will be able to perform precision low-level flying, air drops and landing in blackout conditions. Aerial refueling capability, advanced radar warning receivers and countermeasure dispensing system for extended range and survivability over hostile areas, will be available.

This unique configuration aircraft introduces such special-operations air-transport capability for the first time in India. Following the induction of the first six aircraft India has already expressed interest to buy six additional aircraft to establish a full squadron of 12 transport planes.

China’s New Fighter Prompts Renewed F-16 Plea from Taiwan

asian defence and technology

Taiwanese president Ma Ying-Jeou renewed Taiwan's plea for more F-16s, citing China’s recent unveiling of the J-20 stealth fighter. The Republic of China Air Force wants 66 F-16C/D versions to re-equip one of its five fighter wings. According to a report in The Washington Times, the U.S. has decided to offer Taiwan an upgrade for its 150-strong fleet of 1980 era F-16A/B models instead, hoping it will be less likely to stir opposition from Beijing.

While the F-16A/B is considered an obsolete platform (in the U.S. these aircraft are converted into flying targets) given the aircraft have enough lifespan, such upgrade could dramatically boost the capabilities and availability of these obsolete fighters, with the replacement of radars into Active Electronically Scanning Array (AESA), helmet display sights and more advanced missiles.

Taiwan Requests U.S. Fighter Jets

asian defence and technology

Days after Chinese leader Hu Jintao leaves Washington, Taiwan’s President Ma Ying-jeou is again calling on the United States to supply Taiwan with fighter aircraft. The U.S. approved a $6.4-billion U.S.-dollar arms deal last year, supplying weapons to Taiwan. But the deal left out the F-16 fighter aircraft the Taiwanese government had originally requested.

Taiwanese officials acknowledge that the Chinese regime has now tipped the balance in terms of military capability across the Taiwan Strait. Taiwan is eager to modernise its military and has already been attempting to buy new combat aircraft since 2006.

President Ma addressed the issue at a meeting with Raymond Burghardt, the United States’ top representative to Taiwan. Burghardt was in visiting Taiwan to brief Ma about Hu Jintao’s recent visit to the United States.

"There has been a military imbalance over the strait for a long time—that is our common concern, Taiwan has looked forward to F16 C/D fighters and we also hope to get diesel-electric submarines, not to enlarge our military hardware but to renew it. We have some old fighters and submarines, which are a disadvantage in Taiwanese defence." said Ma Ying-jeou, President of Taiwan.

China’s New Fighter Prompts Renewed F-16 Plea from Taiwan

K-15 SLBM to be tested on 31st January

The DRDO has rescheduled the test-firing of submarine launched ballistic missile ( SLBM) K-15 to January 31. It was supposed to be test-fired from an underwater platform off the Vishakhapatnam coast on January 20.

"The test was first scheduled on January 16, but was postponed to January 20. Now it has again been rescheduled to January 31 due to delay in arrangements. It is a coordinated exercise of both land and Navy personnel," a source said.

"India can join the league of five nations, Russia, US, France, Britain and China, with the successful launch of the K-15 missile. These countries already possess advanced missiles that can be launched from a submarine," sources said.
The indigenously developed K-15 or the B-05 missile are 10 metres in length, one metre in diameter and weighs ten tonnes with a strike range of around 700 km.

This missile uses solid propellant and carries a conventional payload of about 500 kg to one tone and also be fitted with a tactical nuclear warhead. "The missile is ready for the test. But preparation is on for locating the Pontoon (replica of a submarine) inside the sea. The tracking machineries and technical equipment have been shifted from the integrated test range to Vishakhapatnam," the source added.

The K-15 missile has been tested at least six times and is in serial production. The missile was initially test-fired under the name of Sagarika project. While its launching was recorded partial success twice, the rest were claimed as "successful trials" by the DRDO.

The missile, which can be compared with the Tomahawk missile of US, is India's response to Pakistan's Babur missile. The source further said that the Navy has reportedly been insisting for the test of K-15's cruise variant as it is hard to be obstructed and has pinpoint accuracy.

"Cruise missiles are more difficult to detect and hence less vulnerable to anti-missile defence, which can track and destroy ballistic missiles with comparative ease," a defence scientist said. "Besides, the K-15 missile, India has another missile which can also be launched from a submarine. In a joint collaboration with Russia, a submarine-launched version of BrahMos cruise missile has been developed," he added.

China Rolls out ZDK03 AEW&C Aircrafts for Pakistan Air Force

First of four Pak-Chinese ZDK-03 Airborne Early Warning and Control System (AEW&C) Karakoram Eagle for the Pakistan Air Force was displayed in a rollout ceremony was held at Hanzhong in China. Pakistan Air Force’s chief Air Chief Marshal Rao Qamar Suleman was the guest of honor for this ceremony at this ceremony. It was also attended by the Commander of the PLA Air Force and other military and civil officials from the China.

Pakistan Air Force signed an agreement for the joint development of four ZDK-03 AEW&C aircraft Karakoram Eagle which were to be configured to meet Pakistan's specifications in 2008 with China Electronics Technology Group Corporation.

The ZDK-03 AEW&C is specifically designed to meet the requirements of the Pakistani airforce. It has very advance AESA radar along with other sensors and communications equipment. This arrangement is similar to the one being used by the E-2C/D Hawkeye Airborne Early Warning Aircraft used by the USN.

This arrangement will allow ZDK-03 AEW&C Karakoram Eagle to provide 360ยบ radar coverage. Air Chief Marshal Suleman has said that this event as "another milestone in the exemplary history of cooperation between Pakistan and China”. This AEW&C aircraft will strengthen the PAF's capabilities to maintain "peace with honour in the region".

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