updated 11:45 am EDT, Fri April 30, 2010
ASUS CEO doesn't see iPad overtaking netbooks
Tablets like the iPad won't overtake netbooks in the near future, ASUS chief Jerry Shen told the press at a conference discussing its latest results on Friday. Shen acknowledged that Apple had kickstarted the tablet market but insisted that the iPad and other tablets were in a different market and didn't truly overlap. Tablets are "cloud computing" devices that need the Internet to be effective where netbooks often hold most of their content locally, the CEO argued.
He went on to argue that tablets wouldn't have even taken off without Apple getting involved. "If it weren't for Apple this market would develop a lot more slowly," he said.
The statements were made even as ASUS planned to hedge its bet and launch the Eee Pad at Taiwan's Computex show in early June. It has reportedly been refined in its later development to better compete against the iPad.
In spite of separating tablets from netbooks, Shen hinted that the first-generation Eee Pad may share similarities with netbooks through its OS. The initial model will run "Microsoft software," he said. Short of using the now aging Windows Mobile platform, the decision would necessitate using a desktop version of Windows, as Windows Phone 7 isn't due to ship until late summer or the fall.
Later versions are expected to use either Android or Chrome, but their releases and the Windows tablet will hinge on how the tablet market is faring in June.