updated 01:55 am EST, Sun December 11, 2011
ASUS quickly dampens Transformer Prime rumors
ASUS quickly responded to NCIX's claims of a Transformer Prime delay by issuing a countering response. It claimed to SlashGear that the warnings of missing the December 19 target weren't official. The suggestion was made either that NCIX didn't have full details or that an outsider had fed bad information.
"We are trying to confirm who released this statement and for what purpose right now," an ASUS representative said in a statement. "At this point, we still show to be on schedule to start shipments the week of [December 19]. I will provide an update once I have additional information."
The quad-core Android tablet has been reported facing shortages related to low volume that might lead a reseller like NCIX to cancel preorders. With only a handful of devices largely in the hands of the media, though, it was difficult to tell whether or not this would be due to technical issues in a larger production or just low initial supply.
ASUS didn't have hardware problems with the original Eee Pad Transformer. Its supply was low enough, however, that most customers couldn't reasonably expect to buy it until June, two months after it shipped.
Any delay into the new year would likely have helped Apple and other competitors that won't be ready with their own quad-core or faster dual-core tablets until around the same period. ASUS has had the rare distinction of being the first with a quad-core mobile OS tablet, with most not likely to even start shipping until February or later. It doesn't have the scale to rival the iPad, but it's large enough to be a serious competitor for Samsung, LG, and most others using Android.