Global tablets sales decline will inevitably affect Asus tablet strategies moving forward

“Captain obvious speaking. Slumping tablet sales globally are going to affect how Asus treats their tablet strategies moving forward.”

Okay, not breaking news there. However, we recently watched the Asus investors conference and the ZenPad tablets were part of the conversation, but the tone was not optimistic. It’s understandable though because it has been reported for a while now that the global appetite for tablets have been declining. Fact? A lot of people have one, maybe two per household and there hasn’t been that need to upgrade.

So from the Q1 2016 Asus investors conference, a few tablet tidbits that we learned. First, some of the R&D for tablets is likely to be shifted to robotics. The countries getting ZenPad tablets will be reduced and the number of different models is going to be reduced. One phrase which made us have a double take was when they said “tablet transition”. We need products to talk about afterall, so fewer tablets will ultimately mean less to discuss.

It’s going to be very interesting to see what happens at Computex 2016 regarding the ZenPad line-up. Last year it was the big unveil and rebranding to ZenPad. This year it’s going to be much quieter. We’ve grown used to seeing flagship tablets from Asus over the years so we do hope for a mainstage presentation and slides, but it’s not a given anymore.

We’re closely watching how Asus is going to be handling their ZenPad tablet line-up in 2016 and 2017. Jerry Shen mentioned that people want higher spec tablets and that makes it difficult. Higher cost build materials and low selling prices is not the best recipe for profit (Captain Obvious makes another appearance).

We can say that Asus will certainly be reducing their resources in tablets moving forward. They obviously spent a lot of time and effort in creating a customizible design and with that work done, it would likely free up resources to work in other areas of the company.

We were a bit surprised at the number of ZenPad tablets that came out last year. There were more than we were expecting. So if Asus does indeed reduce the models, this may allow them to have the higher spec models because their resources will not be spread so far. Refinement of the tablet line-up may work out in the end. We shall see!


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