Emerging Technology

Asus to enter US smartphone market, boss admits Windows RT tablet flaws

Andrew Sadauskas /

Asus chairman Jonney Shih has revealed his company is looking at entering the US smartphone market in 2014, while plans for future tablets running Windows RT are put on the backburner.

In a series of interviews with AllThingsD, Shih admits to problems with the Windows RT platform, including its incompatibility with desktop Windows apps and the decision not to include a start menu, which have hampered sales of his company’s VivoTab RT.

“The result is not very promising,” Shih says.

Shih says the company will instead focus on tablets running a full version of Windows 8 and Intel chipsets in the future, including the dual-boot Transformer Book Trio series, which runs both Android and Windows.

As SmartCompany reported last month, the Transformer Book Trio is a large tablet, featuring a detachable 11.6-inch display that can be booted up into either Android or Windows.

The device can also be ‘transformed’ into a laptop, or with the display removed, be used as a desktop PC by being plugged into an external monitor through a PC Station dock.

The PC Station dock, in turn, features its own Intel Core i7 processor, keyboard and 750GB hard drive, while also charging the docked tablet.

In a separate interview, the Taiwanese consumer electronics firm, which also manufactures Google’s Nexus 7 tablets under contract, revealed plans to enter the US smartphone market next year.

“For the phone, frankly speaking, we are still the latecomers. We are making progress,” Shih says.

Key Asus products in the smartphone space include the Fonepad, a 7-inch tablet that can also make calls, and the PadFone, a smartphone that can be docked in a tablet display which, in turn, can be attached to a laptop-style keyboard.

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Andrew Sadauskas

Andrew Sadauskas is a former journalist at SmartCompany and a former editor of TechCompany.

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