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Asus will hit e-pad market this year

The iPad? That's the big iPhone, yeah?

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Asus is working on multiple e-pad type devices which it hopes will exploit the shortcomings of Apple's iPad when they hit the market this year.

Eric Chen, corporate vice president systems business group at the Taiwanese portables specialist, told El Reg that many people had described Apple's product du jour as "one big screen iPhone."

He said that Apple was one of the "most respected companies," but he didn't think that the iPad would necessarily be the dominant product the iPhone had become.

"This is something we can improve," he claimed. "We will have similar products. We have a couple of projects under way."

Chen refused to detail exactly what weak points he thought Asus could capitalise on. But he said he expected that the firm would target different models at different applications and business and channel models: "We need to respect customers choices."

Obvious markets might be the logistics or medical or pharmaceutical industry, he said, but this was something Asus could not tackle on its own. Rather it would make sense to partner with apps vendors in such markets: "It's a solution space."

What was clear, he said, was that the company planned to capitalise on the buzz created by Apple with its own iPad debut - whatever the product's shortcomings - and to hit the market with an Asus e-pad (or whatever the firm chooses to call its product) within the year.

"It should be this year, that makes sense," said Chen. "Over a year and people forget." ®

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