updated 10:45 pm EDT, Thu July 14, 2011
ASUS may double Android tablet shipments late 2011
ASUS' tablet shipments are due to surge enough that it may become one of the largest competitors in the field, touchscreen panel tipsters slipped out late Thursday. Once hit by chronic shortages, the company's shipments of Android tablets like the Eee Pad Transformer should reach 1.2 million to 1.5 million in the summer and only scale up further in the fall, according to Digitimes. Orders have supposedly jumped to include as many as four to 4.5 million tablets in the last six months of 2011.
The company had only set targets of shipping two million tablets the entire year and might itself have been caught by surprise. A 51.7 percent percent surge in ASUS' manufacturing partner Pegatron's revenue during June might have been directly attributable to better than expected ASUS tablet sales.
Some of the increase will likely come from extra tablet models shipping at the same time, such as the MeMo and Eee Pad Slider. ASUS is often touted as one of the few early Android 3 tablet designers to have stood out from the pack with devices that undercut the iPad on price but still compete well on features. The Eee Pad Transformer costs $399 but still has a 10-inch IPS-based display and unique tricks like its hybrid battery and notebook dock.
Analysts from Nomura just on Thursday portrayed ASUS as one of the largest competitors in the next year and suggested that it could even outperform heavyweights such as Motorola and RIM in the tablet arena. Apple is still expected to dominate and ship several times more iPads than ASUS will tablets but may not have the extremely wide lead it has had in the past.