ASUS is still one of the biggest tablet makers in the world. But it appears that they are also seeing the struggle with the tablet industry and are going to be limiting the number of tablets they are making. This process actually began in the middle of 2016 and will be completed by the middle of 2017. In addition to reducing the number of tablet models they develop, the company is also looking to focus shipping tablets on fewer overseas markets. However the particular markets that they are looking to focus on were not mentioned. ASUS is also looking to transfer around 1,000 employees from the tablet space over to their VR and AR business units. Considering virtual reality and augmented reality are seen as the future, this shouldn't be a surprise. And ASUS already has the ZenFone AR which does both, which was announced at CES last month.
Tablets haven't been all that popular for a few years now, which is why many manufacturers have either dropped tablets altogether or are focusing on cheaper ones. Currently, Apple, Samsung, Amazon and ASUS are the main tablet makers that are actually selling tablets. Amazon is selling a ton of them, thanks to their cheap Fire tablet lineup, Samsung has tablets available in just about every price range, and ASUS has some great looking tablets available, like their ZenPad series. ASUS was doing well in the tablet segment back in 2013, shipping 12.1 million units for the entire year. Then in 2016, that number fell to just 3.3 million units. That's a huge drop in just three years. The company is said to be focusing on mid-range and high-end models that will cost around $300 or higher. Their goal for 2017 is to ship over 3 million tablets, according to the company's CEO Jerry Shen. He also noted that the tablet business is expected to begin profiting in the third quarter of this year.
On the Western side of the world (read: US), ASUS isn't really known for their smartphones, they are more known for their tablets and even laptops. So it'll be interesting to see if ASUS continues to sell their tablets in the US. Lately, they have been looking to get carriers on board for selling their tablets, including Verizon who picked up their latest ZenPad.