Asus, the company most directly responsible for the netbook phenomenon, may see itself split into two competing brands.
According to Taiwan-based magazine Business Today, the computer hardware company is struggling with infighting amongst executives. Specifically, it points to a rift between Asustek chairman Johnny Shih and Tung Tsu Hsien, who heads up the OEM division called Pegatron. The magazine claims that Hsien was forced off of the Asus executive board, and into his current position as OEM boss.
In the OEM business, product branding is nonexistent because all products are bought by other brands for their consumer offerings. Apparently, Tung Tsu Hsien has a desire to continue developing brands, especially in the Chinese market. Being in charge of an OEM division does not afford him such an opportunity. When Hsien left Asustek and was put in charge of Pegatron, a large number of research and industrial design workers followed him.
While nothing is certain, and this rift may be exaggerated, it could lead to Pegatron completely breaking off from Asus to become a competitor. If this was to happen, we could expect to see many of the same products that Asus is known for, from netbooks to motherboards to full size laptops. If such a separation was to occur, hopefully Pegatron will see a name change, too.
On top of the (supposed) animosity between the Shih and Hsien, Asustek recently suffered its first quarterly loss ever. In Q4 2008, Asustek reported a NT $3 billion loss, or USD $89 million. Many are attributing this loss to the Asustek/Pegatron split.
You can find the entire Taiwanese article (translated) here.