Asus has big plans for 2014, with new smartphones, Chromebooks, wearable devices, and possibly a new Nexus tablet in the works.
Company executives revealed that Asus is going to double down on its smartphone business, which has yet to turn a profit. While Asus’ tablets have been doing relatively well in the market, helped by the cachet of the Nexus 7, its smartphones, including the tablet-hybrid PadFone, are lagging. In a move that signals international ambitions, the Taiwanese manufacturer will show off new smartphones at CES 2014, in January.
To offset stalled PC sales, Asus is targeting the education sector with two Chromebooks due in Q1 2014, an 11.6-inch model tentatively priced at $200 and a 13.3-inch model going for $249. Previous rumors claimed Asus would release its first Chromebooks by the end of 2013, but the Taiwanese has only released a Chromebox desktop so far.
Asus also set its sight on the budding wearable devices market. CEO Jerry Shen revealed that Asus wants to showcase a first set of wearables at the Taipei Computex show, in early summer. Shen didn’t provide any more details, but we can speculate that Asus may be working on a smartwatch and possibly a Glass-like head mounted computer.
Finally, despite rumors to the contrary, Asus may still be manufacturing the 2014 Nexus 7 tablet. The first two generations boosted Asus’ brand image and bottom line, and securing a third partnership with Google would be a real coup. The two companies are “still in talks” about the Nexus 7 (2014), the exec said, so a surprise is still possible. Asus may be facing competition from LG, who just got back in the tablet game with the well-reviewed G Pad 8.3.
Who would you like to manufacture the third-gen Nexus 7?