They did - and then ASUS made some major flubs on both the TF101 and the Transformer Prime that made a lot of the people (like myself) who said, "Android tablets will be competitive" look foolish.
ASUS has a few problems. #1, they don't have the marketing reach that Apple does. When is the last time you saw a commercial for a Transformer?
#2 - They don't have the distribution channels or clout that Apple has.
This ties in with...
#3 - They had trouble with delivering their release date for the TF101. They didn't have enough supply. The 1st batch of Transformers had some significant issues. Then the follow up, the Prime, had even worse issues out of the box.
#4 - Motorola and Samsung's early tablets were very expensive and unable to deliver the same kind of experience as the iPad - and those were the most recognized brands. Things were very slow starting - and no one was getting it right. The TF101 got it the MOST right - but it wasn't good enough.
There are some other minor reasons (there isn't the same dynamic for Android tablets as there was for Android phones when Verizon announced the original Droid 1)...
But ultimately at this point consumers don't really know ASUS compared to a name like Motorola or even HTC or LG, Android has a bad rap, and Apple has this premium perception and cultural cachet.
From the perspective of a business and marketing focus - this could ultimately be a case study of how narrow windows of opportunity are and how many stars have to be aligned for a superior product to unseat an incumbent.
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