updated 10:40 pm EST, Tue December 20, 2011
ASUS hints it stays unafraid of Apple lawsuits
ASUS isn't worried about being sued over patents, company chairman Jonney Shih stated at an awards ceremony Tuesday. Picking up the Pan Wen Yuan Prize with Digitimes in attendance, he said ASUS had "many" 3G patents and wasn't worried about being sued. Although not stated, he was likely referencing HTC's loss to Apple after an ITC complaint, which will likely lead to a favorable ruling if HTC doesn't settle ahead of other ITC verdicts and matching civil lawsuits.
The absence of lawsuits might be helped by a lack of significant competition. ASUS stopped most of its smartphone efforts after the failure of its joint venture with Garmin. It plans to launch its Padfone hybrid in 2012, but it has mostly stayed out of the mobile space other than its Android tablets.
Shih simultaneously dismissed talk of poor-selling ultrabooks. The Zenbook line had "so far met original expectations," he said, and would be on track to hit 300,000 for the fall. Rumors had it scaling back to no more than 180,000.
The figure may be promising for ASUS, although most expect the Zenbooks to be easily eclipsed by the MacBook Air. Apple is estimated by several analysts to be shipping over five million Macs this fall, and more than half of these in recent quarters have been notebooks. The Air is now its entry system and could represent a large part of that half.