updated 02:20 pm EST, Fri November 18, 2011
ASUS says it stays committed to Android tablets
ASUS spokesman Gary Key responded Friday to interpretations of a rumor that his company might quit tablets. He told CNET that the Digitimes claims, where ASUS and others would bow out because they didn't have the ecosystems of Apple's iPad or Amazon's Kindle Fire, were "unfounded." Possibly prompted by the nature of the question, he limited the scope to Android tablets and not Windows.
"ASUS is not exiting the Android tablet business," Key said.
The correction came after multiple sites falsely interpreted the rumor, which was more speculation. The reported part supplier sources hadn't discussed the departures, which included Acer, Dell, and HP, as fact. Instead, they had been discussing the effect of competitive pressure and had just expressed the belief that ASUS and others couldn't last in the market.
The lack of official knowledge was compounded by claims that iPad 2 sales were "lower than those of iPad," which would be virtually impossible. Apple shipped 11.12 million iPad 2s in the summer, more than in any quarter of the original iPad's history, and by Digitimes' own rumors is expected to move at least as many in the fall.
ASUS is at least committed to tablets in the short term. It plans to ship the quad-core Transformer Prime in December and may update other tablets like the Eee Pad Slider in the future. The company still faces an uphill battle, as even being one of the more successful Android tablet makers will limit it to 1.8 million tablets for all of 2011.