Taiwanese hardware manufacturer Asus has apparently secured the second place behind Apple as the largest tablet PC brand with around 400,000 units sold in the first half of 2011, which is a notable feat given that the Asus Eee Pad Transformer, its only model, has only been out for around three months.
Digitimes (opens in new tab) cites components makers from the notebook industry who said that the Asus tablet's low cost ($399) may have helped it sell well in the US.
In addition, a second generation Eee Pad Transformer is already in the pipeline apparently, with an Nvidia quad core Tegra 3 and Google's Android Ice Cream Sandwich iteration, with a scheduled launch date around October, just in time for the busy end of year holidays.
The news outlet also says that Asus hardly makes any profit from the tablet and instead it is improving its profitability margin by selling its keyboard docking station, a very popular accessory that costs around a sixth of the tablet's price.
Asus will also launch an Eee Pad slider next month which will cost up to $800, a 7-inch Eee Pad MeMo 3D which will be pitched against the LG Optimus Pad 3D and the Samsung Galaxy Tab and the Padfone which will use a Tegra 3 and Android Ice Cream Sandwich and fetch up to $799.
For the whole of 2011, the company expects to sell two million Eee Pad tablet PCs, that's 1.6 million for the second half of the year or four times the amount in H1.