Asus does not plan on participating on the recent tablet price cutting wars. CEO Jerry Shen will not race RIM or HTC to the bottom and currently has no plans to cut the original Transformer’s price. This comes by way of a Digitimes report that also states the company is on schedule to launch the second generation Transformer tablet for $499 and meet their initial shipment forecast.
The company is also maintaining its 2011 tablet shipment forecast of 1.5-2 million tablet PCs (read: shipment, not sales). The forecast seems about right as Digitimes points out the company has already moved more than one million tablet in the first three-quarters of this year. With a new model hitting during the busy Christmas season, they shouldn’t have an issue achieving the target.
Asus has so far been an important, but somewhat niche player, in the tablet game. The Asus Transformer set the bar high for other Honeycomb tabs. It features a solid construction, a great screen and anti-iPad features such as numerous I/O ports. Unlike most other Honeycomb tabs, the Transformer is not a carbon copy of the iPad. The $400 MSRP helped get it off the ground, too.
The company’s relatively low shipment estimate shows that Asus knows its place in the tablet marketplace. The Transformer’s target demographic of spec-obsessed techies have largely been ignored by Honeycomb tab makers. Asus should be able to further exploit the nerd market with the next Transformer and further stake their claim as a major tablet player.