Asus CEO Jonney Shih said he expects his company to ship between 3 million and 6 million tablets next year, a big leap from the 1.8 million Asus tablets that are expected to ship in 2011. Shih believes his company’s popular Transformer Prime tablet is especially attractive to consumers because, unlike the iPad, it offers a hardware keyboard. A number of Transformer Prime units are plagued with a Wi-Fi signal issue, Taiwan Economic News said, but Asus is offering an exchange program for customers who have faulty units. Shih also confirmed that Asus will ship Windows 8-powered Transformer-branded tablets next year, and he believes the new OS will change the way we use tablets. The CEO said tablets currently only enable users to consume data, but that Windows 8 will enable users to both consume and create data. It is unclear when the Windows 8 devices will hit the market, although the operating system isn’t expected to launch until sometime in the second half of 2012. Asus is also currently the subject of a lawsuit with toymaker Hasbro, which is suing the company over the “Transformer Prime” trademark, but Shih did not comment on the case.
During the AsiaD conference in Hong Kong, ASUS CEO Jonney Shih took the wraps off of one of the first tablets to utilize NVIDIA’s new quad-core Tegra 3 processor. The Transformer Prime, which is just 8.3mm thick, is equipped with a 10-inch display, an SD card slot, a mini-HDMI port and support for up to 14.5 hours of battery life, Engadget said. It can also be docked to a full QWERTY keyboard, just like the original Eee Pad Transformer tablet. Details on the Transformer Prime are still slim and it is not clear if the tablet will ship with Android Honeycomb or Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich). Shih said Ice Cream Sandwich tablets should be on the market by the end of the year, and given the company’s plans to officially announce the tablet on November 9th, we’re keeping our fingers crossed this launches as one of the first Android 4.0 tablets. Shih did not discuss pricing, markets or a potential release date.
When asked about his thoughts on people replacing laptops less frequently, and perhaps shifting disposable income to smartphones and tablets, Jonney maintained that all of those markets were key to ASUS' success, and that none were taking a backseat. "We believe that this a very critical time, transitioning from the personal computing era to the ubiquitous cloud computing era." Sounds a bit like another mantra we heard, truth be told, but ASUS has been riding the cloud bandwagon long before most other consumer companies even knew what it was. The original spate of Eee PCs had next to no internal storage; rather, they relied on accessing the web in order to deliver the bulk of their functionality. Jonney also noted that ASUS is attempting to tackle an interesting problem with its products, which is that few people can truly separate work and entertainment -- in other words, you need products that adequately handle both worlds. We're guessing a Padfone + Transformer Prime + Zenbook is his preferred trifecta to do just that.Permalink | | Email this | Comments
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