updated 09:55 am EDT, Fri May 6, 2011
ASUS says Eee Pad Transformer to catch up in June
ASUS partly confirmed rumors of Eee Pad Transformer shortages on Friday through a statement from spokesman David Chang. He didn't acknowledge talk of just 10,000 of the Android 3.0 tablets shipping in April but anticipated that it would take at least a month to get back on track, with 100,000 in May and 200,000 in June. There would be a "significant alleviation" of shortages by June, Chang told NetbookNews, two months after it went on sale.
The representative wouldn't touch on beliefs that the shortage had been caused by Apple's supply demands for the iPad 2 cutting into ASUS' supply. He instead argued that demand for the Transformer was exceeding predictions "by far." While the tablet is available worldwide, US distributors have cast doubt on claims of sheer interest since retailers didn't receive promised stock to gauge supply.
The 300,000-plus sales would still give ASUS a rare win in the mobile space over some of its competitors. While still just a small fraction of what Apple sells, the number would eclipse the 250,000 Xooms Motorola shipped in the winter. Depending on Motorola's performance in the spring, the Eee Pad Transformer could be the most popular Android 3.0 tablet. Samsung's Galaxy Tab 8.9 and 10.1 may be popular but aren't shipping until early June.
The Transformer has earned much of its reputation through offering relatively high quality but for just $400 in a 16GB edition, $200 less than the 32GB-only Xoom and $100 less than a 16GB iPad 2. Its signature trick is an optional keyboard dock that also supplies a trackpad and a second battery that boosts it to 16 hours of use.