Some giants of the PC industry are just beginning to sell tiny and cheap Netbooks and all-in-one desktops, which have the monitor and processor in the same box.
But little-known Averatec, based in Orange County, Calif., but part of Korean parent company Tri Gem, has been at it for several years. So you'll have to pardon Averatec CEO Tae-Hyun "Tiger" Cho if he believes he has a few insights to share regarding this small but growing market.
Averatec's first all-in-one desktop was introduced in 2004. But the company's main business before jumping into Netbooks last year was making 12-inch ultraportable notebooks--when most were churning out 14- and 15-inch portables--and it was making them cheaply when the competition was charging hundreds more.
Now Averatec is charging ahead with the majority of its production in just two of what happen to be the fastest-growing areas of PCs: all-in-one desktops and tiny, low-power Netbooks.
Netbooks are forecast to comprise one-fifth of the 133 million notebooks to be shipped in 2009, and the more than 3.5 million all-in-one desktops shipped in 2008 is expected to double by 2010, according to market research firm DisplaySearch. While all-in-ones are still a small part of the desktop market, it's one of the only desktop form factors that's actually growing.
The next Averatec Netbook model, due to arrive in August or September (pictured below) has been developed "from scratch" in-house at Averatec, Cho said. Besides increased attention paid to design, there's something on the inside of the forthcoming Netbook that will be markedly different from most of the field.
"The OS is going to be a surprise," Cho said. While he would not confirm or deny that the OS will be Android, the company will say that it will be "a merger of cell phone and PC technology."
Averatec won't be the first if it is indeed Android. Chinese PC maker Skytone announced over the weekend that it would offer a $250 Android-based Netbook, and there have been rumors of MSI doing the same. HP, Asus, and others have also said they are "experimenting" with Android on their Netbook models.
Averatec is positioning itself to take advantage of thrifty consumers and people who would welcome less intimidating approaches to technology. Cho believes all-in-ones and Netbooks are the answer. … Read more