ASUS, Jonney Shih

Taiwanese manufacturer ASUS is a big player in the Android tablet world, having seen success with the dockable Transformer series as well as Google's Nexus 7 tablets. But despite the launch of gimmicky smartphone devices like the Padfone and Fonepad, ASUS has yet to enter the phone market in a big way, particularly in the United States. But that may be about to change, according to company chairman Jonney Shih.

Speaking with AllThingsD, Shih said, "for the phone, frankly speaking, we are still the latecomers," adding that the company is nevertheless making progress. While the company is apparently hard at work, a 2013 entry into the U.S. smartphone market might not be feasible, Shih told the publication, however "next year is more reasonable."

We've been impressed with the quality of ASUS' Padfone devices, particularly the Padfone Infinity, which was unveiled at this year's Mobile World Congress. But the appeal of these products has been hampered by the fact that they're tied to bulky (and expensive) tablet add-ons, rather than being sold on their own at subsidized prices. ASUS certainly has the ability to produce a compelling smartphone, but it remains to be seen whether it'll have the clout to woo U.S. carriers, not to mention consumers themselves.

Source: AllThingsD