Taipei, March 21 (CNA) Asustek Computer Inc., one of the world's leading PC vendors, said Thursday it has started accepting pre-orders in Taiwan for its newly unveiled Fonepad, a 7-inch hybrid gadget with phone and tablet functions.
The Fonepad, which was introduced at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona in February, is scheduled to hit store shelves in Taiwan at the end of March with a price tag of NT$8,990 (US$302) for a 16GB model, Asustek said.
At the MWC, the 16GB Fonepad model was priced at 219 euros (US$285) for the European market.
The new device is equipped with Intel Corp.'s new Atom Z2420 processor and third-generation (3G) cellular connectivity.
The Taiwanese company has also introduced its new Open Cloud Computing platform to make it easier to share photos and other data among multiple devices.
Asustek is working with Chunghwa Telecom, the largest telecom operator in Taiwan, to sell the Fonepad. Consumers who sign a special two-year contract with Chunghwa Telecom to pay NT$1,343 per month can obtain a Fonepad at no additional cost.
Apart from that sales channel, the Fondpad will be available at several local 3C retail chains, such as Tsann Kuen Enterprise Co., E-Life Mall Corp., Sunfar Computer Co, as well as on the Yahoo and PChome online shopping sites, according to Asustek.
In June 2012, Asustek and Google jointly launched the world's first 7-inch quad-core tablet computer -- the Nexus 7 -- which has enjoyed rising popularity in the global market. The Nexus 7 was named "Best Mobile Tablet" at the MWC.
In the fourth quarter of last year, Asustek was ranked as the world's fourth largest tablet computer vendor, after U.S.-based Apple Inc., Samsung Electronics Co. of South Korea, and Amazon.com Inc. of the U.S., according to International Data Corp.
(By Lo Hsiu-wen and Frances Huang)