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Talk of the Day -- Taiwan fans hail iTune Store; Asus new tablet to be released

2012/06/27 23:10:31

Apple fans in Taiwan are happy to learn that the U.S. electronics giant has finally opened the flood gates to its iTunes online store, media reports said Wednesday.

From now on, Taiwan's Apple fans can use locally issued credit cards to download music from the iTune Store's 20-million-song library and buy or rent movies.

Until Wednesday, Australia, New Zealand and Japan were the only three countries in Asia and the South Pacific that had their own iTunes stores.

Meanwhile, local high-end component suppliers said Wednesday that Apple's latest success in winning U.S. injunction against South Korean handset rival Samsung Electronics Corp.'s tablet computer Galaxy Tab 10.1 would have little impact on their sales because Samsung orders account for limited shares of their revenues.

Touch screen components suppliers, including Radiant Opto-Electronics Corp., said they mainly provide backlight modules or small-size touch screens for Apple and only small portions of their products for Samsung's tablet computers.

Also on Wednesday, foreign media reports said the U.S. search engine giant Google Inc. is ready to release a tablet co-branded with Taiwan's Asustek Computer Inc. to compete with Amazon's Kindle Fire device.

Reuters quoted an unidentified Asustek executive as saying that the Google-Asustek co-branded tablet is targeting Amazon's Kindle Fire which runs a version of Google's Android operating system and sells for US$199. Through Kindle Fire, users can access Amazon content, including books, music and video.

"The Kindle is based on Google's platform but with its own service, so Google has to launch its own service, too," the Asustek executive told Reuters.

Google has its own store for apps, but does not have anything like Amazon's service, the Reuters said.

Bloomberg News also reported Wednesday that Google is scheduled to unveil a tablet soon, probably at its developer conference Google I/O 2012 to be held in San Francisco this week.

The Bloomberg report cited one source as saying that the 7-inch tablet, co-developed with Asustek, would showcase Android new features and would target Apple Inc.'s iPad.

The following are excerpts from the local media coverage of iTunes Store and Google-Asustek co-branded tablet:

United Evening News:

Apple opened its iTunes online store to Taiwan, Hong Kong and 10 other Asian countries Wednesday in a broad push to sell music and video to more users in its fastest growing markets.

Even though these territories have had the APP Store for a while, the opening iTunes Store will allow fans in these countries to grab music and movies, too.

The iTunes online store is also open to fans in Singapore, Macau, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Brunei, Cambodia and Laos. (June 27, 2012).

Economic Daily News:

Asustek Chairman Jonney Shih already departed Taipei for San Francisco to attend the Google I/O 2012 scheduled to open Thursday (Taipei time).

During the Google developers conference, the long-talked-about Nexus 7 tablet computer co-developed by Google and Asustek is expected to be showcased.

The 7 inch tablet that runs Quad core powerhouse with the Tegra 3 processor and features full Google Play integration could be priced as low as NT$4,500 (US$150.5), industry sources said.

The new tablet is mainly targeting Amazon's Kindle Fire, which sells for US$199, according to the sources.

With the Nexus 7's imminent launch, the sources said, Asustek's Q3 sales could post a double-digit growth. (June 27, 2012).

(By Sofia Wu)