Contrary to earlier reports, Asus isn’t ditching its Android line of tablets, a spokesperson confirmed to CNET last night.
Digitimes had previously claimed the Taiwanese company was pulling out of Android tabs, along with Acer and Dell. So what of the other two?
“As usual, the rumors and reports from Digitimes are incorrect,” Asus’ Gary Key told CNET. “Asus is not exiting the Android tablet business.”
So, pretty conclusive. Acer and Dell are yet to comment.
Digitimes said in its piece “sources from upstream supply chain believe these players will gradually phase out from the market,” saying instead tablets would be dominated by Apple, Amazon, and Barnes Noble. Considering Apple is the only one of those three that currently sells in the UK, we’re hoping Digitimes is wrong.
It also says due to lower-priced competition from Amazon and the Nook Simple Touch, those making hardware only will be unlikely to turn a profit. It goes one further and says tablets will eventually be given away free, with companies making money from the content they offer instead. So not entirely dissimilar to the mobile phone business model.
The report also says sales of the iPad 2 are lower than the original, pointing out that demand for tablets is already waning. This may be true, but the iPad is still head and shoulders clear of the competition, despite Google claiming over 200 million Android devices have been sold. The Motorola Xoom and RIM BlackBerry PlayBook are two disappointments that come to mind.
Amazon’s Kindle Fire went on sale in the US this week, running a modified version of Android. Priced at $199 (£126), it undercuts most of the big-name competition by some way, so it should prove interesting to see how it fares.