Somebody went and spiked the water cooler that Asus CEO Jerry Shen drinks from, which is the only logical conclusion as to why he suddenly believes he has a shot at making Asus the world's largest Android tablet PC maker by the end of the year. Crazier things of happened -- Think Like a Man is No. 1 at the box office for two weeks running, for example -- but unless Amazon makes a series a serious missteps, it's hard to imagine the Kindle Fire being usurped.
First things first. According to DigiTimes, Mr. Shen told investors that his company is on track to grab the most global Android tablet PC market share by the end of 2012. He has eight months left to make good on that prediction, and it's a bold one. How so?
Well, comScore recently laid out the figures, and according to the research firm's data, the Kindle Fire dominates the U.S. Android tablet market with a 54 percent share, followed by the entire Samsung Galaxy Tab family in a distant second (15.4 percent), Motorola Xoom (7 percent), and finally the Asus Transformer (6.3 percent). Granted, these figures only represent the U.S. market, but it's a big one, and Asus has a lot of ground to make up.
Things aren't much different globally. According to International Data Corporation (IDC), the Kindle Fire holds a 16.8 percent share of the entire tablet market (all OSes), well behind the iPad (54.7 percent) and ahead of all other Android tablet players, including Samsung (5.8 percent). IDC didn't even mention Asus, presumably because it's a blip on the radar.
Some will argue that the Kindle Fire isn't really a tablet, that's it more of a glorified eBook reader, and there's some merit to that argument. Perhaps that's how Mr. Shen sees it, too. Semantics aside, the Kindle Fire is the world's leading Android tablet or tablet-like device, and it doesn't appear that's going to change within the next several months.