Samsung is currently the top Android tablet maker, thanks to its assortment of Galaxy tablets of various hardware configurations and sizes. However, Asus is aiming to become the top non-Apple tablet maker.
Asus has seen some amount of success with the Transformer and Transformer Prime tablets, which have been appreciated for their innovative form factors. It is rumored to be the manufacturer of the upcoming Google Nexus tablet, which will be a budget Android tablet priced at $149 to $199.
With the Nexus tablet, Google plans to regain control of budget tablet market, which is currently dominated by Amazon and Chinese tablet manufacturers who don’t use Google’s official version of Android, contributing to further Android fragmentation.
While Apple dominates the tablet market by a huge margin, there is no other competitor with a significant market share. With the Nexus tablet and Google’s backing, Asus has a good chance of becoming the #2 tablet maker globally.
Microsoft also plans to launch Windows 8 by summer 2012, with devices launching starting October 2012. It will probably compete with Apple in the premium tablet segment, as there is unlikely that any manufacturer will launch $200 Windows 8 tablets, at least initially.
It’s interesting how most tablet makers are realistically aiming for the number two spot in the tablet market. With Apple’s brilliant operational setup and economy of scale, it is almost impossible to beat it on price while offering a tablet nearly as good as the iPad, even if they sacrifice Apple’s generous profit margin.