Asus may not be one of the big Android smartphone OEMs, but they are persistent, inventive, ready to try some non-traditional things, and not afraid to fail.
Whether it’s a Padfone Infinity tablet/smartphone hybrid, Fonepad 7” tablet with Intel CPU, that can do traditional phone calls, or Garmin-Asus navigation phone- you can always expect something clever and interesting from this Taiwanese PC OEM looking to diversify. Whether these inventive products will ever be succesful, is another question. But let’s not forget that Asus also makes the only truly best selling Android tablet – Nexus 7.
So what’s next for Asus? A MeMOFone HD5 standalone smartphone, and PadFone Mini – smaller tablet/smartphone combo, it seems.
According to Mr. Shen, Asus will launch a standalone 5” Asus smartphone either in January (during CES) or February ( during MWC). A smaller Padfone MINI 7” tablet/4”smartphone combo is coming later this year – either November or December.
Yesterday Asus also upped its Android 2013 smartphone shipment forecasts to 1.5 million units. But that now includes 7” FonePad, which, technically, you can also count as a very big smartphone – it does make traditional calls, after all. So I’m not really sure how much of an improvement this new projection is.