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Computer maker Asus has two tablet computers in the works for release in the coming months. Given that Apple’s iPad tablet is due out in just a few days and will be garnering a ton of attention, you’d think Asus chairman Jonney Shih would be worried right now. But he’s far from it, according to Forbes. Instead, Shih seems confident that his company will be able to compete with Apple.
All we know about the upcoming Asus tablets so far is that one will run one of Google’s operating systems — either the Android mobile OS or Chrome OS — and the other will run Windows (most likely Windows 7). By offering different operating systems and hardware options, Shih believes that Asus will give consumers choices in the tablet market, something they won’t get with Apple’s iPad.
Asus will likely have price in its favor as well. Given the company’s experience with producing inexpensive hardware, plus the fact that Google’s operating systems are free and open-source, I suspect that the Google OS-based tablet will be much cheaper than the iPad (which starts at $500). Even the Windows tablet has the potential to be much cheaper than the iPad.
Forbes speculates that Asus, which is based in Taipei, Taiwan, will unveil the tablets at June’s Computex trade show in Taipei. The company has previously used the conference to announce major new products, like the original Eee netbook in 2007.
Despite the tablet craze, Asus isn’t giving up on netbooks either. Shih sees netbooks as a quickly maturing segment of the computing market and says that the company is hard at work at making its future netbook products thinner, more battery efficient, and more reliable. He also reports that the company will develop more business-oriented netbooks in the future.
The company is also vying for a place in the mobile industry. It’s currently producing phones together with GPS-maker Garmin, and Microsoft reps have been relying on prototype Asus devices to show off Windows Phone 7 Series.
Asus is currently the number-six PC maker in the world, and Shih hopes that it can become number three by the end of 2011.
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