Asus expects to ship 3-6 million tablets next year, including Windows 8 Transformer models

Asus CEO Jonney Shih said he expects his company to ship between 3 million and 6 million tablets next year, a big leap from the 1.8 million Asus tablets that are expected to ship in 2011. Shih believes his company’s popular Transformer Prime tablet is especially attractive to consumers because, unlike the iPad, it offers a hardware keyboard. A number of Transformer Prime units are plagued with a Wi-Fi signal issue, Taiwan Economic News said, but Asus is offering an exchange program for customers who have faulty units. Shih also confirmed that Asus will ship Windows 8-powered Transformer-branded tablets next year, and he believes the new OS will change the way we use tablets. The CEO said tablets currently only enable users to consume data, but that Windows 8 will enable users to both consume and create data. It is unclear when the Windows 8 devices will hit the market, although the operating system isn’t expected to launch until sometime in the second half of 2012. Asus is also currently the subject of a lawsuit with toymaker Hasbro, which is suing the company over the “Transformer Prime” trademark, but Shih did not comment on the case.

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