It seemed every man and his dog was showing off some kind of Android device this year at CES, be it a smartphone, MID, tablet or netbook. Conspicuous by their absence were any Android offerings from Asus.
ZDNet sat down with Asus chairman Jonney Shih so he could explain why. The problem, he says, is that Asus worry if a large enough amount of consumers would be willing to forgo the universal compatibility of a Windows machine, in exchange for a cheaper but more limited model, to make the product viable. He also muses about whether the market really has space for yet another device to fill the gap between netbooks and smartphones, but admits that Asus has devices running both Android and Chrome OS in its lab, but has not decided on whether to release one or both of them. ”For Chrome”, he says, “We are trying to be ahead.”
He also mentions the topic on everybody’s lips at the moment – tablets. Again, he says Asus have a tablet in their labs, but that for a tablet to be successful it will need a range of integrated features such as ebooks, touch-enabled gaming, social networking, streaming media and other things that it would seem Asus are not in a position to deliver right now.