updated 11:10 pm EDT, Mon October 31, 2011
ASUS details tablet goals and future
ASUS CEO Jerry Shen gave a rare insight into Android tablet units late Monday with details of Eee Pad sales. He estimated that ASUS was on track to ship 1.8 million Eee Pad Transformers and Sliders from the Transformer's arrival in spring through to the end of the year, according to Digitimes. About 1.2 million of those had moved through the spring and summer, leaving 600,000 to ship in the fall.
Shen didn't say how many had sold to customers, although ASUS is different than some Android manufacturers in having had demand outpace supply. Although partly affected by supply issues, it was bottlenecked for two months where Acer, Motorola and others have had to scale back. The company is one of the few relatively successful Android tablet designers, although Apple shipped 11.12 million iPads just in summer alone and won't be significantly threatened in the near future.
The same discussion also elaborated on ASUS' long-term plans. Along with the Transformer Prime, two new tablets would be available in February, he said. One will be the Padfone, its unique phone and tablet combo, and another unnamed model. Some expect a seven-inch Transformer that might come in at $299.
Shen is also reportedly optimistic that Windows 8 will "completely change" the tablet market and put Microsoft on top, defeating the iPad. The claim faces numerous obstacles, including Microsoft's historical inability to gain traction for Windows tablets, Apple's momentum, and a Windows 8 release only likely to appear in mid-2012, more than two years after the iPad first arrived.