Asustek sees tripling tablet sales in 2012
Taiwan-based Asustek Inc. expects increased sales of tablet computers this year from 1.8 million in 2011 to six million this year.
Asustek said one factor for the increased sales is its early adoption of Google Inc.'s Android operating system, Taiwan's Central News Agency reported.
"Our relationship with Google has improved, and this year we have already planned products on open platforms, including Android and Windows," CNA quoted Samson Hu, vice president and general manager of Asustek's Eee system business unit, as saying.
To deal with the increasing numbers of tablet products, Asustek will expand its staff of researchers working on Android software from 300 people in 2011 to 400 this year.
It will also get another 150 engineers focusing on Microsoft's Windows platform.
Android 4.0, dubbed "Ice Cream Sandwich," will be released on Jan. 12 for users of Asustek's Eee Pad Transformer Prime tablet.
This would make Asustek the world's first tablet PC maker to adopt this open platform.
On the other hand, Asustek will also unveil a seven-inch Android-powered tablet and a 10-inch model with higher screen resolution at the Consumer Electronics Show in the United States this coming week.
It also plans to launch two 10-inch Android products in the first half of 2012, Hu said.
Asustek likewise plans to introduce a tablet featuring Microsoft Corp.'s Windows 8 system and a chipset from ARM Holdings Plc in the second half of 2012
Meanwhile, the company expects to begin shipping the 3G version of the Transformer Prime in March, which will offer better global positioning system (GPS) connectivity than the Wi-Fi version. — TJD, GMA News