Taipei, Jan. 6 (CNA) Taiwanese PC brand Asustek Computer Inc. said Friday that it expects its tablet computer sales to increase from 1.8 million units in 2011 to 6 million this year due to its early adoption of Google Inc.'s latest Android operating system.
The Android 4.0 version, dubbed "Ice Cream Sandwich," will be released on Jan. 12 for users of Asustek's Eee Pad Transformer Prime tablet, making Asustek the world's first tablet PC maker to adopt this open platform, said Samson Hu, vice president and general manager of Asustek's Eee system business unit.
"Our relationship with Google has improved, and this year we have already planned products on open platforms, including Android and Windows," Hu told a media briefing.
The Taipei-based manufacturer will unveil a 7-inch Android-powered tablet and a 10-inch model enabling higher screen resolution at the Consumer Electronics Show in the United States next week, with another two 10-inch Android products to be launched in the first half of this year, he said.
Asustek also plans to introduce a tablet featuring Microsoft Corp.'s Windows 8 system and a chipset from ARM Holdings Plc in the second half of 2012, but the shipments will be limited this year due to the product's late launch, Hu said.
Meanwhile, the company expects to begin shipping the 3G version of the Transformer Prime in March, which will offer better global positioning system (GPS) connectivity than the Wi-Fi version.
To deal with the increasing numbers of tablet products, Asustek will expand its staff of researchers working on Android software from 300 people in 2011 to 400 this year, with another 150 engineers focusing on the Windows platform, according to the company.
(By Jeffrey Wu)