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Asus aiming for tablet sales to eclipse netbooks in 2012

post #1 of 26
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Asus announced that it expects tablet shipments, which will reach 1.8 million units this year, to grow significantly next year, possibly even eclipsing the PC maker's shipments of netbooks in 2012.

Taiwan-based Asus revealed its current year projections and 2012 sales targets at a global sales meeting on Monday, DigiTimes reports. The company said it will ship 14.7 million notebooks, 4.8 million netbooks and 1.8 million tablet PCs this year.

In 2012, the PC maker believes its tablet shipments will grow to at least three million units, with an internal goal of six million units, thereby surpassing rival Samsung. Asus has been able to generate some hype around its Android-based Eee Pad Transformer Prime tablet, a quad-core upgrade to its Transformer tablet, but it's too early to tell whether sales of the device will take off.

Asus revealed three separate tablet lines in January in a broad effort to compete with Apple's iPad. However, the non-Apple tablet market has failed to gain much traction this year. According to the NPD Group, Asus came in third place among Apple's competitors with a 10 percent share of non-iPad sales in the U.S., which reached just 1.2 million total units in the first 10 months of the year.

Asus' Eee Pad Transformer Prime tablet is the first to feature the Tegra 3.

The Google Android tablet market is expected to be shaken up by newcomer Amazon. Analysts believe the online retailer's Kindle Fire will take second place behind Apple with shipments of 3.9 million units in the December quarter. Evercore Partners analyst Robert Cihra believes the Fire will make up half of all Android-based tablets in 2012.

Asus could face a serious threat from the low-cost Kindle Fire, according to the analyst. "Amazons success may just vaporize other for profit Android tablet OEM roadmaps," Cihra said.

As for notebooks, Asus expects growth in traditional notebook shipments next year, but is predicting continued decline for the netbook category as sales of its Eee PC line wane. The company expects notebook shipments to jump from 14.7 million unit this year to 19.3-19.8 million in 2012. Based on Asus' stated shipment goals, 2012 netbook sales would range from 2.2-2.7 million units, though its higher internal targets suggest possible netbook sales of as much as 4.5.

Asus has also focused its attention on Intel's new Ultrabook category in recent months. The chipmaker introduced the design specification in May with Asus as a partner. "At ASUS, we are very much aligned with Intel's vision of Ultrabook," chairman Johnny Shih said at the time.



However, vendors may be having second thoughts about their commitments to the Ultrabook effort. Both Asus and Acer were said to have reduced orders by as much as 40 percent because of slow sales of the thin-and-light laptops. Ultrabook makers are reportedly waiting on a $100 marketing subsidy from Intel that will help drive prices below the $1000 mark early next year.

Asus' move away from netbooks and toward tablet PCs and Ultrabooks contrasts rival netbook maker Acer's strategy. Acer vice president Scott Lin voiced the company's continued commitment to the netbook market last week, noting that it will focus its efforts on selling netbooks in emerging markets. The vendor is estimated to be the No. 1 seller of netbooks with 1.7 million units in the third quarter. Asus reportedly sold 1.2 million netbooks worldwide in the third quarter.
post #2 of 26
The Asus Transformer Prime is a great piece of HW. The only thing it's really lacking right now is that it's still on Honeycomb, but it will be getting ICS in the near future.

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post #3 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

The Asus Transformer Prime is a great piece of HW. The only thing it's really lacking right now is that it's still on Honeycomb, but it will be getting ICS in the near future.

Yeah, much like the second round of Android phones, spearheaded by the original Droid, started to show the potential of Android in general, the second round of Android tablets, spearheaded by the Transformer Prime, will really start to show what Android tablets are capable of. I love my iPhone and iPad, but the geek in me can't believe what the Transformer Prime is capable of.
post #4 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by hittrj01 View Post

Yeah, much like the second round of Android phones, spearheaded by the original Droid, started to show the potential of Android in general, the second round of Android tablets, spearheaded by the Transformer Prime, will really start to show what Android tablets are capable of. I love my iPhone and iPad, but the geek in me can't believe what the Transformer Prime is capable of.

I can see Apple bringing out a thin keyboard, perhaps even one with an extended battery, that allows for the iPad 3 to slide into a collapsable* dock. THe one think that is missing is the need for a landscape docking port but that wouldn't be too hard to add.


* Collapsable as the current keyboard dock makes traveling with it very difficult.

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"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #5 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

The Asus Transformer Prime is a great piece of HW. The only thing it's really lacking right now is that it's still on Honeycomb, but it will be getting ICS in the near future.

We'll see if hardware specs sell Android. So far, that has not been the case. I doubt this will be the exception since Amazon is taking the low ball crowd and the iPad takes the high end, there ain't much room left for anything else.
post #6 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac.World View Post

We'll see if hardware specs sell Android. So far, that has not been the case. I doubt this will be the exception since Amazon is taking the low ball crowd and the iPad takes the high end, there ain't much room left for anything else.

HW specs alone aren't much, but Asus has done things Apple does to make their HW specs add to the user experience. For instance they use a great IPS panel and they have the best battery life for an Android-based tablet. The battery is still under the iPad but it's pretty close.

They also have a special IPS mode that adjusts the display for better viewing outdoors. I have no idea if this is a gimmicky feature or one that adds to the user experience. It does use more power as one would expect.

It'll be tough for any Android tablet, as you say, because Fire OS and iOS for iPad are distinct OSes with their ecosystem that doesn't lend much room for any proper Android tablet, but I think if anyone has a chance ion merit alone t's Asus as they've shown that tablet+Android doesn't need to mean cheap crap, even though it does cost $100 less then the comparable iPad.

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"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #7 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by majjo View Post

I really don't think Asus is gunning to compete directly with the iPad. Their tablet lineup seem to be a cross between an iPad and a netbook, so I think they're targeting a different demographic.

That said, the transformer prime looks damn sexy and it seems like the reviews are generally positive as well.

AnandTech had WiFi and battery issues with the one they received as well as oddly got it 39 hours before they were allowed to talk about it. They want at least a week to run the device through various tests. After that review they posted and update with the new battery and WiFi data.

The prices are $399 for 16GB, $499 for 32GB, and $599 for 64GB. Looks to me they are competing directly with the iPad but undercutting them by $100.

The keyboard dock with 40-pin connector and trackpad and extended battery will cost you $149.

The dock looks great, but I wonder about the SW side of things. Having a slick looking trackpad means nothing if it doesn't work. Just ask HP Envy owners. If it does work well then this $$548 setup could be a great solution for many as a traditional 'PC' setup. Of course, this has a lot to do with ICS which is still mostly unknown.

Anyway, if this does get popular enough it could push Apple into making something similar, though I'm not sure about the whole tracked issue (as it's not needed) unless Apple includes away to switch between CocoaTouch UI and Aqua UI on iOS without missing a beat.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #8 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by majjo View Post

Correct me if I'm wrong here, but the Prime is only offered at the 499/599 price point for 32/64GB. Asus said they will continue to sell the original transformer 16GB at 399 to hit that price point. AFAIK there's no 16GB prime.

Mea culpa. I was looking at the original Prime.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #9 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac.World View Post

We'll see if hardware specs sell Android. So far, that has not been the case. I doubt this will be the exception since Amazon is taking the low ball crowd and the iPad takes the high end, there ain't much room left for anything else.

I honestly think the Transformer can be successful. That laptop dock as an entirely new level of functionality missing from most tablets. Many of you say you want the tablet to be a "Post PC" thing and to be honest this is pretty far beyond the PC era. Easily argued further then the ipad. Being able to download files and to save them onto a flash drive is a huge plus in my book for something that people expect me to replace my computer with.
post #10 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by hittrj01 View Post

Yeah, much like the second round of Android phones, spearheaded by the original Droid, started to show the potential of Android in general, the second round of Android tablets, spearheaded by the Transformer Prime, will really start to show what Android tablets are capable of. I love my iPhone and iPad, but the geek in me can't believe what the Transformer Prime is capable of.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

The Asus Transformer Prime is a great piece of HW. The only thing it's really lacking right now is that it's still on Honeycomb, but it will be getting ICS in the near future.

Haven't we always been hearing this?

...Great hardware
...Better hardware
...Latest OS (Froyo)
...Latest OS (Honeycomb)
...Latest OS (ICS)

Not holding my breath, to be honest. Something is amiss. iPad now has 2 solid years of nothing coming close. iPhone, different. But iPad... 2 years of literally no real competition. Something is amiss.
post #11 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple v. Samsung View Post

I honestly think the Transformer can be successful. That laptop dock as an entirely new level of functionality missing from most tablets. Many of you say you want the tablet to be a "Post PC" thing and to be honest this is pretty far beyond the PC era. Easily argued further then the ipad. Being able to download files and to save them onto a flash drive is a huge plus in my book for something that people expect me to replace my computer with.

The Transformer has been around in Asia and Australia for a while, I've seen it for a few months now. Doesn't seem to be picking up though, if it is that great why hasn't it had more blockbuster sales? Maybe people don't want to download files to a Flash drive (with DropBox and a lot of cloud services picking up steam, who really does that?), or maybe they don't need a laptop/keyboard/whatever dock. Is the Transformer capable of running full-spec MS Office? Smoothly?

"These are not the post-PC devices you're looking for"

I've said it before, two iPads hinged in the middle is the next laptop. Some sort of tactile feedback as you touch the "screen" (I'm sure Apple is on it) will erase the "oh I can't press the key/button/whatever" argument forever.
post #12 of 26
If only it could be hacked to run iOS. All of these devices suffer from one thing, the OS. Even ICS still has the interface lag/disconnect on pinch to zoom. It looks like they will need a 2GHZ dual core CPU to finally get it to work without lag. All that battery power wasted just to keep things smooth. /sigh.

Of course the android camp defend the laginess even at high CPU over clocks as being because there are so many android devices and hardware configurations compared to the small subset of iOS devices. I don't see that as any defence, its just rubbish code wasting CPU cycles which is a bummer because there are some cracking bits of hardware out there that are just not being done justice.
post #13 of 26
ASUS is just dropping another windows based, Android base powered system. It is the same game day after day with any OEM. ASUS has no software game! Any jacka** can crank out hardware then stuff an off the shelf OS up its a**.
post #14 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

Haven't we always been hearing this?

...Great hardware
...Better hardware
...Latest OS (Froyo)
...Latest OS (Honeycomb)
...Latest OS (ICS)

Not holding my breath, to be honest. Something is amiss. iPad now has 2 solid years of nothing coming close. iPhone, different. But iPad... 2 years of literally no real competition. Something is amiss.

I agree with you, although nothing is amiss, Apple simply left them in the dust in terms of R&D, foresight and balls (especially in the parts procurement department). I suspect the next iPad will be a quantum leap too taking Apple to a new level. At the same time I bet the existing iPad2 remains at a far lower price ... imagine what that would do to the lower priced Android market!


Quote:
Originally Posted by irnchriz View Post

If only it could be hacked to run iOS. All of these devices suffer from one thing, the OS. Even ICS still has the interface lag/disconnect on pinch to zoom. It looks like they will need a 2GHZ dual core CPU to finally get it to work without lag. All that battery power wasted just to keep things smooth. /sigh.

Of course the android camp defend the laginess even at high CPU over clocks as being because there are so many android devices and hardware configurations compared to the small subset of iOS devices. I don't see that as any defence, its just rubbish code wasting CPU cycles which is a bummer because there are some cracking bits of hardware out there that are just not being done justice.


I agree their OS sucks. Meanwhile, hacking an Android device to run iOS has as much chance of success as hacked PCs running OS X as far as ever gaining momentum outside of a few geeks having fun.


Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

I can see Apple bringing out a thin keyboard, perhaps even one with an extended battery, that allows for the iPad 3 to slide into a collapsable* dock. THe one think that is missing is the need for a landscape docking port but that wouldn't be too hard to add.


* Collapsable as the current keyboard dock makes traveling with it very difficult.


Maybe a flexible keyboard is the answer. Although I am waiting for the holographic one that the iPad 6 projects into virtual space.
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Enjoying the new Mac Pro ... it's smokin'
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini.
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post #15 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

Haven't we always been hearing this?

...Great hardware
...Better hardware
...Latest OS (Froyo)
...Latest OS (Honeycomb)
...Latest OS (ICS)

Not holding my breath, to be honest. Something is amiss. iPad now has 2 solid years of nothing coming close. iPhone, different. But iPad... 2 years of literally no real competition. Something is amiss.

What's amiss is that, IMOH, no one wants to do their own software because of the cost and technical hurdles that arise. Hell, from scratch, how long would it take to make an OS comprable to Windows or OSX? And what would be the cost and how many people would be needed to be involved? Damn! And I have t even mentioned the up keep.
Apple has like 65000 folks making that company what it is. That ain't easy.
post #16 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

Haven't we always been hearing this?

...Great hardware
...Better hardware
...Latest OS (Froyo)
...Latest OS (Honeycomb)
...Latest OS (ICS)

Not holding my breath, to be honest. Something is amiss. iPad now has 2 solid years of nothing coming close. iPhone, different. But iPad... 2 years of literally no real competition. Something is amiss.

I see your point but until now no one besides Apple had a good HW at a price that came in below the iPad. This is also a great display which directly adds to a good UX.

The part that is still unknown is how ICS will affect the future of Android tablets, but we'll know soon. Sooooon! SOOOOOOOOON! (it's always soon with Android)

At any rate I am glad to see that Asus has original, quality tablets that can beat Apple on price instead of being hundreds more. This is a good thing for the market. And even if ICS turns out to be crap then there is always a chance for Win8 to gain traction next year, assuming that window doesn't close up by Apple releasing a 2048x1536 iPad.

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"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #17 of 26
yawn...asus transformer is yet another iPad clone. DOA
post #18 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by bullhead View Post

yawn...asus transformer is yet another iPad clone. DOA

If this is DOA then no other tablet has a chance of competing against the iPad.



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"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #19 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

If this is DOA then no other tablet has a chance of competing against the iPad.

what is so special about this clone? How is it different from all the other iPad clones?
post #20 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by bullhead View Post

what is so special about this clone? How is it different from all the other iPad clones?

Detachable keyboard, maybe?

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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post #21 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by bullhead View Post

what is so special about this clone? How is it different from all the other iPad clones?

AnandTech has an oay review on it. They were rushed to do it in 39 hours but from the HW perspective the display is opt notch. In several ways it not only is in the ballpark of the iPad's display, but bests it. This is where Asus has always had a strength.

I won't go into the aspects like slightly larger panel, slightly higher resolution and slightly higher PPI as those are all close enough even among the plethora of craplets.

I'm talking about the primary I/O, the display as a whole. It's IPS and has a special mode that lets you read better outdoor, though with the expense of using more power. SIPS+ is the outdoor reading mode.



It's just a great display.

The other HW is good, too, though the iPad 2 still kicks Tegra 3's butt pretty much across the board.


But then consider that customers don't care about that aspect of CE so long as the SW on their system is flood and usable. This is something we won't know for sure until we se ICS demoed, but if it's good this tablet that comes in at $100 less than a comparable iPad with the same capacity could make some waves.

Regardless, if you are in the market for a 10" Android tablet the Transformer Prime is the way to.


PS: THis gives a little hope Apple create a dual UI layer by adding Aqua to iOS so you can put a collapsable keyboard/trackpad on an iPad (in landscape mode) to make it a inexpensive and fully functioning Mac-like notebook.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #22 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

AnandTech has an oay review on it. They were rushed to do it in 39 hours but from the HW perspective the display is opt notch. In several ways it not only is in the ballpark of the iPad's display, but bests it. This is where Asus has always had a strength.

I won't go into the aspects like slightly larger panel, slightly higher resolution and slightly higher PPI as those are all close enough even among the plethora of craplets.

I'm talking about the primary I/O, the display as a whole. It's IPS and has a special mode that lets you read better outdoor, though with the expense of using more power. SIPS+ is the outdoor reading mode.



It's just a great display.

The other HW is good, too, though the iPad 2 still kicks Tegra 3's butt pretty much across the board.


But then consider that customers don't care about that aspect of CE so long as the SW on their system is flood and usable. This is something we won't know for sure until we se ICS demoed, but if it's good this tablet that comes in at $100 less than a comparable iPad with the same capacity could make some waves.

Regardless, if you are in the market for a 10" Android tablet the Transformer Prime is the way to.


PS: THis gives a little hope Apple create a dual UI layer by adding Aqua to iOS so you can put a collapsable keyboard/trackpad on an iPad (in landscape mode) to make it a inexpensive and fully functioning Mac-like notebook.


more meaningless comparisons. You can already use a keyboard with an Ipad, not sure why you would though, if you want laptop, buy a laptop. Nothing new here in the latest ASUS clone. Like I said...DOA
post #23 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by bullhead View Post

more meaningless comparisons. You can already use a keyboard with an Ipad, not sure why you would though, if you want laptop, buy a laptop. Nothing new here in the latest ASUS clone. Like I said...DOA

So despite being shown comparisons that directly affect the user experience and performance, as well as showing that Asus didn't cut corners to make a crap tablet the way Amazon did, yet still managed to best Apple's pricing by $100 across the board, your conclusion is that it's 1) crap, 2) it's a clone (no idea where you get that from), 3) it's DOA (yet you don't make a case to why this great device will be DOA), and 4) that all comparisons about technology and how they relate to the performance and UX are meaningless unless they are from an Apple product. You're not even close to sounding objective.

PS: Note the keyboard dock is portable, unlike Apple's keyboard dock which doesn't fold down. Also note this Asus accessory also has a trackpad, battery and USB ports. THis is not the same keyboard set Apple sells. The Transformer Prime+keyboard turns it into a laptop when needed.

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"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #24 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Regardless, if you are in the market for a 10" Android tablet the Transformer Prime is the way to.

At least until Samsung releases a Tab with S-pen. After that it's a choice between whether it's more important to be able to type fast, to be able to draw, or to be able to run iOS apps.

I'm hoping both iOS and Android would get proper support for user-defined keyboard layouts for external keyboard, like OS X and Windows have. Currently the only way to get a custom external layout on Android is to root the device and then modify some ungodly thing that isn't designed to be modified, and I doubt there's any way for iOS. This is seriously a dealbreaker for me, external keyboards are useless without a layout I can touch type on. So until the feature exists, external KB support might as well not be there.

I would really love to have an Air that is built in two parts like the Prime. But it wouldn't be easily marketed to creative baristas so Apple will never build something like that.
post #25 of 26
Well, since netbook sales are tanking since devices like the iPad have blatantly exposed them for the crap experience they provide, any sale vs. 0 will be a net win
post #26 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

I can see Apple bringing out a thin keyboard, perhaps even one with an extended battery, that allows for the iPad 3 to slide into a collapsable* dock.

No need for Apple to do that since, via the dock connector and/or bluetooth, a third party vendor can - and has - done it already.

Here's were consistent form factor and limited changes in models is critical to establishing a vibrant third party community.

Quote:
THe one think that is missing is the need for a landscape docking port but that wouldn't be too hard to add.

I used to think so, but with bluetooth is it really that necessary? It would make it nice for using the iPad as a digital picture frame but I'm not sure Apple would do it.
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