updated 07:45 pm EST, Sat December 10, 2011
ASUS to give up market share to fix Wi-Fi range
ASUS encountered a large setback in its attempt to take the tablet market with the Transformer Prime late Friday. Online retailer NCIX messaged pre-order buyers at Phandroid and elsewhere that the quad-core Android tablet had been delayed "worldwide" and likely wouldn't make Christmas, if not the whole year. The Wi-Fi range on the metal-shelled tablet didn't "meet their standards" and was being improved before shipments started.
The Taiwan firm didn't have an estimated time to deliver the tablet, nor how many it would ship when it was ready. An Amazon shortage is now known to have been related to the production stop, not demand.
Moving the Transformer Prime to 2012 could dash ASUS' hopes of making near-term gains in tablets. Leaks, while unconfirmed, had it shipping about 350,000 Primes in the fall and making the tablet one of the most popular outside of the iPad. Its delay would move it to the same general time frame as other early quad-core tablets and could set back ASUS' overall goals.
The timing could see the tablet ship much closer to its upgrade for Android 4.0 and spur on significant boosts in speed on the web and the general interface.
Update: ASUS denies a delay, although as of early Sunday it was still getting more information on what had happened.