AST Research Inc., the Irvine computer products company that has become the leading retail supplier of accessories for the IBM desk-top computer, announced Thursday that co-founder Thomas Yuen has been assigned full time to developing new markets for the company's wares.
The announcement underscored the importance AST has placed on nurturing its alliance with Apple Computer Co. One of Yuen's primary tasks, AST President Safi Qureshey said, will be overseeing the company's year-old Apple products division.
"We're placing a great emphasis on Apple," Qureshey said. "Tom will spend more time working with that group."
So far, the group has introduced six products designed to expand the power and performance of Apple computers, including four this week at the computer industry's giant COMDEX trade show in Las Vegas.
AST is expected to announce additional products next year when Apple reveals its plans for its top-of-the-line MacIntosh desk-top computer.
In addition, Yuen, who has orchestrated AST's rise among accessory makers, will be responsible for increasing the company's role as a supplier of electronic parts to computer manufacturers. The company already sells components to IBM and AT&T.