When people go to buy computers or other electronics, they end up encountering some Asian brands that are unfamiliar. They all seem new, but some are really new, and others have been around a while in the US market. This is a guide of sorts.
The brands most familiar to Americans are an amalgam of names from the 50s through the 80s, mostly US, a few European, and some Japanese. Today, we're seeing Korean, Taiwan, and China brands.
In fact, a lot of old US, Euro, and Japanese brands like Honeywell, Bell and Howell, Sylvania, Magnavox, RCA, Zenith, General Electric, Sony and Sanyo rebrand products from these other companies and sell them as their own. The brand has value because it makes the sale.
Also, as we know, Apple, Sony, JVC, Panasonic and almost all computer parts companies, like Seagate, Western Digital, Intel, AMD, and a host of other companies that design their products still manufacture in China or other countries.
The following is a list of established brands. I'll hit up newer brands later.
LG - Life's Good - used to be Lucky Goldstar, which was called Goldstar in the US. Second largest Korean industrial giant after Samsung. They've been around in the US market since the 1980s.
Samsung - a large Korean industrial company that makes a wide range of products. They've been in the US market since the 1980s.
Asus - Taiwanese computer motherboard maker entering into the end-user market. They have a reputation of being one of the top motherboard makers, along with Intel. Operating in the US market since the 1990s.
Acer - Taiwanese PC company. Operating in the US market since the 1980s, selling prebuilt PCs.
Lenovo - a Chinese (mainland) PC maker. Used to be called Legend, and entered the US market in the late 80s or early 90s. Legend became the company that supplied IBM with laptop computers, specifically the ThnkPads. IBM eventually sold their PC business to Legend, who rebranded as Lenovo.
Tatung - a Taiwan company that sells (and manufactures) mainly in Europe. In the US, they mainly make products for other brands, but used to have a more visible presence in the 1980s and 1990s.
Shuttle - a Taiwan motherboard company that is now known for selling kits to make small PC computers. They've been in the US market since around 1990.
Rosewill - is technically a US brand, the house brand of NewEgg. They rebrand products from Chinese manufacturers. They are relatively new, and are hit-or-miss on quality (in my experience mostly miss).
ViewSonic - is a US brand, not an Asian brand, and has been selling monitors since the 1980s.
Haier - this is a Chinese company that has been in the US for around a decade.
SPT - SunPenTown a Chinese company that's relatively new.
Some people are surprised that these companies have been around so long. The Taiwan computer companies need some explanation, especially to US residents. In the 1980s, Taiwan decided to enter the PC market, specifically making components and systems based around cloning the IBM PC AT. Through the 1980s, IBM saw their system being cloned until, eventually, after the PS/2 in the 1990s, they basically gave up and did what their competitors were doing: buying parts from these Taiwan companies.
US companies like Dell, Gateway 2000, ABS (an local company), Leading Edge, Packard Bell, and others were buying parts from Taiwan and other places, and assembling PCs. Over time, the design of components and boards migrated to Taiwan or other global locations. Then, from Taiwan, all the companies, one by one, moved operations into China.
What people buying Dell or HP or whatever PCs don't always know is that there hasn't really been an American PC business since the IBM PC and a handful of clones (from Compaq, Radio Shack Tandy, and a couple others) back in the 1980s. The American "PC" business existed, basically, from 1981 to around 1995 with the decline of the PS/2. The personal computer, aka the home computer, existed from around 1976 with the Apple 2, to around the early 1990s when the Atari ST and Amiga product lines ended, and the only competitor to the IBM PC left was the Apple Macintosh.
The Korean chaebol (combines) industrial companies like Samsung and LG have been making products rebranded for the US market since the 1980s. In fact, they were in direct competition with Japanese companies doing the same thing. Companies like National (Panasonic) and Sanyo would build products rebranded for other brands. These companies had basically pushed American companies out of making things like televisions and microwave ovens since the 1970s.
What people don't know, or forget even if they know it, is that brands and manufacturing exist apart from each other to some degree. When you go to Sears and see Craftsman or Kenmore, you know Sears didn't design and build it. You know they are rebranding a better-known manufacturer's product, but servicing the warranty and providing other services.
The thing is, all the brands do this to some extent. Some brands like LG sell mostly their own product, and round out their product line by adding things made by other companies. Other brands, like Honeywell's consumer products, are entirely products made by other companies. Some old brands, like Packard Bell, Bell and Howell, Sylvania, and now I think RCA, have been revived by doing the same -- they never really had any intention of doing anything but repackaging hardware from Asia and selling it into the US market. They basically did was companies like Dell were doing.
It was the new model of American business.