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Teeing up for Taipei: Why Computex matters

Brad Chacos | June 3, 2013
Computex is coming next week. Why should you care? You'll know after reading this.

But beyond that, Computex's location makes it vitally important to the entire technology industry.

"Computex is a key show for its location, right in the middle of where everything comes to life: Taiwan," says Milanesi. "I always think of Taiwan as the manufacturing arm of Silicon Valley. [Manufacturers] that matter in the computing-devices business all have a presence there."

Major manufacturers such as Foxconn and Pegatron indeed call Taiwan home. Holding Computex in their backyard not only gives the show a cultural vibe you won't find in the West, but also grants big-name Western companies (such as Intel and AMD) access to a rising star in the world of consumer technology.

"Computex is a very important show for non-Asian tech companies," says Moorhead. "Taiwan is a major tech gateway to China, the fastest-growing technology market. Chinese come to the show, and also the press stories are covered in China out of Taiwan."

Chinese contacts and Chinese press are worth their weight in gold in the technology world.

"If Computex moved to Vegas, attendance would be huge, but you would lose an important part of the show--the culture," Milanesi says. "Companies like Asus, HTC, and Mediatek have a distinct culture that would just get lost overseas."

Time out of mind
That's why Computex matters to you and me, and why it matters more to the rest of the world--even if it doesn't garner quite as much mainstream attention as CES or E3.

"Sadly, I feel that Computex suffers like every other show that happens in Asia," Milanesi says. "A mix of time difference and local coverage lowers its impact [on] the U.S. media and public." Reports out of Taipei often come live. For North Americans, that means they occur in the middle of the night.

That the show is usually held near the same time as Apple's WWDC gathering and the video game extravaganza known as E3--two major events, both held on the American West Coast--only underscores Computex's tendency to fly somewhat under the radar in the United States.

It's not as though Computex goes ignored stateside, however. Even if they come in the wee hours, the reports still flow from Taipei, and the most important gadgets are highlighted in roundups that publish at times more reasonable for the North American audience. We'll be shining a spotlight on the biggest news out of Taipei all next week, in fact. (Expect to see a lot of laptops carrying Windows 8.1 and Intel processors, tablets rocking Nvidia Tegra 4 or AMD Temash chips, and maybe even a Firefox OS phone or two.)

If you want to see what the true tech of tomorrow will be, rather than vague promises and smoky vaporware, you need to keep an eye on Taipei.

 

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