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Asus eyes Android, Windows 8 tablets in 2012

Can it be the iPad rival it wasn't in 2011?

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An interesting snippet emerges from Asus' latest financial results presentation: it expects to sell rather fewer tablets in the Christmas period that it did during Q3.

Asus' Eee Pad shipment outlook reveals the company shipped 400,000 tablets - Eee Pad Transformers in the main - in Q2, followed by 800,000 more in Q3. These, Asus reveals, are actual shipments.

Asus Eee Pad shipments for 2011

But its target for Q4 - a period that encompasses Christmas around the world, plus the Thanksgiving gift-buying time in the US - is just 600,000 units, now covering two models - the Eee Pad Slider is shipping - not just one.

Of course, units shipped in Q3 and still sitting on shop shelves may contribute to Q4 sales, ensuring Asus doesn't need to ship as many units during the current quarter. It is including the as-yet-unavailable Eee Pad Transformer Prime in 2011's shipments total.

Asus says it will ship 1.6m tablets in 2011 - a figure less than the combined quarterly actuals and Q4 2011's target, you'll note. To put that in perspective, Apple shipped more than 11.1m iPads in Q3 alone.

Asus Eee Pad plan for 2012

Asus, however, has high hopes for 2012. Expect the announcement of two Android tablets in Q1 - almost certainly at January's Consumer Electronics Show (CES) - followed by two ARM-based Windows 8 products in Q3 2012.

Both sets of launches will be accompanied by "aggressive market share and mind share attacking" campaigns, Asus says. ®

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