Via Technologies is Surprised That People Love Small Cheap Computers

Via who has long made alternative CPUs for x86 and who has made a good living selling small motherboards for thin clients was caught off guard by the demand in the market for */Linux on small cheap computers. They developed a motherboard that sells for $49 and runs Android/Linux. The first batch sold out in hours.

Via! Wake up! Ramp up production as ASUS did for the GNU/Linux netbook and you too could be bought off by M$… or not. You could make a good living supplying the demand for small cheap computers that M$’s OEM-“partners” do not. That will teach them to lock themselves to sinking ship.

"We began to accept pre-orders of APC. Those who had registered to be notified were given the first opportunity to place orders, which were limited to a maximum of 2 units. Due to the staggering demand we sold out in just a few hours. […] We are truly overwhelmed by this response and would like to thank everyone for your support for APC,"

It’s just June and my prediction that we shall see an abundance of PCs running */Linux in 2012 is coming to fruition. I predict that Via will respond to this clear demand for their product by increasing production and establishing deals with OEMs to crank out units. Since it is a standard motherboard, those should be quick and easy relationships to build, just insert the motherboard into assembly-lines. It’s only another small step to give those units retail shelf-space.

see First Batch of Via Technologies' $49 Android PC Sells Out – Company – X-bit labs.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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6 Responses to Via Technologies is Surprised That People Love Small Cheap Computers

  1. Clarence Moon says:

    Do you really believe a company like Via (founded 1987, sales of more than $100million annually) would be overwhelmed by 1000 units ordered?

    Do you really believe that some low-level horn tooting in a blog represents a committed business plan? Besides, your article notes:

    Despite of “overwhelming success” of the APC 8750, its prospects are still unclear given the fact that Via Technologies did not show how exactly it works and whether it is suitable even for basic computing.

    “At present there are almost no Google Android programs that can use both mice and touch-screens, hence the usage of the APC device will be limited. Moreover, it is hard to expect the APC to become popular among developers and enthusiasts, given the fact that its hardware is outdated even by smartphone grades: three-year-old single-core ARM11 processor at 800MHz and 720p graphics accompanied by 512MB of memory are below any requirements for a proper smartphone of 2012.”

    This dog can’t hunt, Mr. Pogson.

  2. Clarence Moon wrote, “it suggests that the number of units produced was around 1000”

    In your dreams, Clarence. Would any tech outfit plan to produce 1000 of anything intended for such a low price? Nope.

    “The size of the first batch is unknown, but it is very likely that it is no less than a 1000 as this is the minimum quantity in which contract manufacturers typically start production. It is also unlikely that the batch exceeds 10 000 as that is the quantity of a typical lot of standard chips in which contract makers produce them. Since the chips that power Via APC 8750 are also used in other devices, it is unlikely that Via assigned an entire 10K batch to the APC.”

    This is entirely speculative and ignores the pricing.

    From the BLOG:“Direct shipments of these pre-ordered units are scheduled to begin in early July and we are working hard to make APC available through local distribution partners in all major markets to reduce shipping costs. We will keep you updated as we progress. We are truly overwhelmed by this response and would like to thank everyone for your support for APC.”

    Do you really believe a company like Via (founded 1987, sales of more than $100million annually) would be overwhelmed by 1000 units ordered? Via can order that many chips on a single wafer.

  3. Clarence Moon says:

    They sold out… That means there is demand…

    If you read your own cite, Mr. Pogson, it suggests that the number of units produced was around 1000 and that successive production has not been scheduled yet. That seems like a very small potato indeed and hardly the stuff to satisfy your “prediction”. At the sort of numbers needed to succeed in the PC business, the production of this motherboard is more along the lines of “next to no interest” rather than “demand”.

  4. Clarence Moon quoth, “it is hard to expect the APC to become popular among developers and enthusiasts, given the fact that its hardware is outdated even by smartphone grades: three-year-old single-core ARM11 processor at 800MHz and 720p graphics accompanied by 512MB of memory are below any requirements for a proper smartphone of 2012.”

    Ever heard of portable software? That’s what Java VM and Dalvik VM are about. Software for Android/Linux can run on the device and people can have fun with it. There’s not much merit in having a device with a CPU that’s idling when the bottleneck is the network. Don’t forget that there are many more people who can and do buy low-priced stuff. They sold out… That means there is demand. That means developers and other service providers will seek out these clients. Who cares if they are not rich? There are hundreds of millions of them and they can pay a little for goods and services. Efficient IT is useful to all.

  5. Clarence Moon says:

    It’s just June and my prediction that we shall see an abundance of PCs running */Linux in 2012 is coming to fruition

    Are you serious?

    “Despite of “overwhelming success” of the APC 8750, its prospects are still unclear given the fact that Via Technologies did not show how exactly it works and whether it is suitable even for basic computing.

    At present there are almost no Google Android programs that can use both mice and touch-screens, hence the usage of the APC device will be limited. Moreover, it is hard to expect the APC to become popular among developers and enthusiasts, given the fact that its hardware is outdated even by smartphone grades: three-year-old single-core ARM11 processor at 800MHz and 720p graphics accompanied by 512MB of memory are below any requirements for a proper smartphone of 2012.”

    Don’t think “it’s only June”, Mr. Pogson. Rather “time is running out!”

  6. dougman says:

    Surprised?

    When the Raspberry Pi was released they should have caught on. It is no surprise here that smaller/cheaper computers are becoming ubiquitous these days.

    This is why the Ubuntu & Android are a great combination.
    http://www.ubuntu.com/devices/android

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