Asus is reportedly looking to diversify its tablet range, to prepare for the eventuality that Google would partner with a different manufacturer for the next generation of the Nexus 7.
According to DigiTimes, which cites unnamed “market watchers”, Asus is looking for a replacement for the Nexus 7, following rumors that it may lose Google’s business in 2014. That’s apparently one of the reasons Asus released a multitude of new tablets in the past months.
Asus is apparently testing the waters, in the hope that one of the new products would gain traction in the market. At Computex this summer, Asus revealed the low-cost Memo Pad HD7, the Transformer Pad Infinity (which recently received a refresh), the dual-booting Windows/Android Transformer Book Trio, and the FonePad Note 6, a Galaxy Note competitor. More tablets are currently in the works.
The success of the Nexus 7 series has been a boon for Asus. Although the affordable tablet has likely not been a major revenue generator, it helped Asus improve its brand image and gave it a foothold in the fast growing Android market.
If recent rumors turn out to be accurate, Asus will also make the second generation Nexus 10 tablet, which is due to launch in the following weeks, possibly along the Nexus 5 smartphone. Historically, Google has rotated Nexus partners every one to two years. Other manufacturers that participated in the Nexus program are HTC, Samsung, and LG.