April 27, 2011

ASUS Eee Pad a Winner In Sales

The latest tablet from Taiwan-based ASUS to come loaded with Android (News - Alert) 3.0 Honeycomb is a winner with its online sales. The newest contender in the vast array of tablets sold out in the first day of its debut on Best Buy’s website, it’s been reported.

With a price tag (News - Alert) of $399, the lowest of all Android-based tablets, the Eee Pad was launched in the U.S. on Tuesday by way of BestBuy.com. Reports are speculating that stellar first day sales are due to low stock, not popularity. A Best Buy (News - Alert) salesman said ASUS didn't have enough tablets to stock its brick and mortar stores, and that Best Buy's online retail stores had already sold out. "But UPS may be on the way right now," the salesman said.

Looking like a hybrid of a notebook and tablet, the Eee Pad Transformer features an optional docking station, which provides access to a full QWERTY keyboard along with unique Android Function keys, instantly turning the Transformer into a mobile content creation device. The Eee Pad also features a 1.2-megapixel camera on the front for video chat and a five megapixel camera on the back with built in autofocus. Other specifications include a microSD card slot, two USB 2.0 ports and an SD card reader and HDMI out. There will be two models available: one with 16GB of storage and one with 32GB.

Reports of the sales show a sharp contrast to that of RIM’s tablet, PlayBook, another Android-based tablet.

PlayBook hit the shelves earlier this month in the U.S. and Canada, but it was hardly met with the excitement that surrounded the iPad 2. According to a report from Reuters, in Toronto, only 5 people showed up for a 7am opening of Sears while in Midtown, New York, only three PlayBooks were purchased off the shelf. Needless to say, Apple (News - Alert) is not at all worried about the competition. The release date, originally slated for the first quarter of 2011, was reportedly pushed back due to a shortage of touch screen panels, which Apple had already allegedly obtained for the iPad 2.

The ASUS Eee Pad is listed as being out of stock or unavailable at online sites such as Amazon and NewEgg and at the websites of several major retailers including Target and Walmart.

The 16GB WiFi (News - Alert) tablet entirely sold out in Britain, and ASUS had to issue a statement promising more shipments in late April or early March.

"Initial demand for the Eee Pad Transformer has been far beyond our expectations," the company said. "Following the on-sale date the first batches delivered to the UK have entirely sold out. Please accept our sincere apologies for the difficulties regarding stock availability with our retail partners."

Michelle Amodio is a TMCnet contributor. She has helped promote companies and groups in all industries, from technology to banking to professional roller derby. She holds a bachelor's degree in Writing from Endicott College and currently works in marketing, journalism, and public relations as a freelancer.

Edited by Rich Steeves