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UK retailer withdraws Transformer Prime, blames 'faults' and stock availability

British retailer Clove Technology has taken the ASUS Transformer Prime off sale today, saying "faults" reported by customers and difficulty in obtaining stock are behind the decision.

In a post on its official blog, Clove says stock levels have been a "real issue", and despite being able to obtain some Transformer Prime units earlier than expected, it's decided to withdraw the tablet from sale due to complaints of faults in some units.

The news will come as a blow to ASUS, which has already seen the Transformer Prime's launch tainted by poor availability and reports of GPS and Wifi issues in some units. ASUS has insisted that none of the Transformer Prime models sold in the UK are affected, so it's particularly surprising to see a UK retailer pulling the device from sale for this reason. It's also worth noting that Clove is the first retailer to take such a drastic step, and that the Prime remains on sale at other outlets.

Source: Clove Technology

Alex Dobie
Alex Dobie

Alex is global Executive Editor for Android Central, and is usually found in the UK. He has been blogging since before it was called that, and currently most of his time is spent leading video for AC, which involves pointing a camera at phones and speaking words at a microphone. He would just love to hear your thoughts at, or on the social things at @alexdobie.

  • My local Best Buy told me that problems with the device is why it wasn't on sale at the store. He seemed pretty mis-informed generally on Android-related topics, so who knows. If I were Asus, I'd get the Prime+ out ASAP. The masses (read: Android geeks) will quickly forget the Prime release fiasco.
  • My local Best Buy gave me a number of BS stories, depending on who I talked to. I haven't seen one yet that didn't eventually get them in stock though. Expecting an educated answer instead of spin from a Best Buy employee is a bad idea. These people probably make $8/hour and are coached by their store manager to say whatever the message is that week. Look at the "corporate PR" response to their Xmas fiasco and how it was reiterated by their CEO in the Forbes articles. They know nothing other than whether they have "item X" in stock and what the price is. Outside of that, forget about it.
  • Well, if it's bad build quality and software bugs, I'm glad they are pulling it. There's something to be said about a high quality device which runs smooth and lasts for more than a year.
  • Unfortunately, the faults to which ASUS refers in their statement are not the faults that my fellow prime users are experiencing. A significant proportion (but not all) of us are experiencing random, frequent lock-ups and reboots. There is a sticky XDA forums thread ( ) dedicated to the issue. There are a lot of disappointed prime owners, but Asus is aware of the issues. Asus rep Gary has been providing fairly regular updates regarding diagnosis and treatment, and has indicated that a solution is expected in February.
  • My personal opinion is that Gary Key is mostly a mouthpiece for ASUS... They're seemingly using him to try to placate a vocal minority of users. I don't doubt that his concern and desire to help is real, but I don't know that ASUS has any intent to fix the issues with this equipment. He's just playing middleman...
  • I'm on my second Prime and my WiFi, while better than on the first one I had, still SUCKS in comparison with my phone (a 2 year old Incredible). The phone will pull 11.5Mbps while the Prime sitting directly next to it will only pull 6.2Mbps. My first one would only do about four... and then there's the GPS, which is also crap. It can OCCASIONALLY lock onto 2 or 3 of the 5 or 6 satellites it sees (this is outside in the middle of my yard laying flat on a table) until I pick it up and move it and it loses the lock on everything. INSIDE my house, the phone will lock onto ALL of the 8-10 satellites that it sees while I walk around. I'm going to wait until my local BBY has more in stock and give this thing ONE more shot and then I'm finished with it... It's a shame because aside from these 2 issues, the tablet is amazing. However, as a consumer, I expect everything to work properly on a $500 piece of equipment... As an aside, unless they've completely redesigned the tablet, I don't see how none of the UK tablets will have the same issues... And if they HAVE redesigned the thing, why are they still shipping defective units to the US? I think ASUS didn't properly test this thing, rushed to market, and now they're caught with their pants down... all you have to do to find out that the GPS doesn't work is to try to USE it... It seems like they're trickling these things out to retail for us, the consumers, to beta test...
  • nevermind
  • Asus has very very poor build quality. I have had nothing but all kinds of issues, hardware/software, with the original Transformer and the Prime seems to be even worse. Sticking with Samsung for tablets forever. I'll hold off for the next Galaxy Tablet which blows away the Prime in every aspect not to even mention the superior build quality.
  • I'd be interested to hear your rationale for determining that a last-gen processor and an all plastic coating can "blow out of the water" the most bleeding-edge processor on the market and a brushed aluminum unibody construction.
  • Duplicate post
  • I must be in the minority. My Prime seems to work as intended. I get strong wireless in the house, and my GPS works well. While i haven't tested my throughput on the wifi, or how many satellites i'm locking onto, i'm still able to use GPS and WiFi with no major issues. My only problems are software related, with some apps hanging up, but that could just be compatibility with ICS.
  • My Prime is working fine as well. WiFi seems fine, GPS will never be used by me so don't know, and not an issue for me. Overall build quality is very good, as good as any other tablet I have including iPad. I respect others can have a different experience with any brand since millions are sold; however, some of the best laptops I own are ASUS. My original Transformer is well built, and problem free as well. The big test will be ASUS's response to the issues. Don't recall any modern device being released without some problem or other, remember antennagate. How timely the software issues are corrected via update, and if indeed it is a hardware issue, ASUS proposed solution will be the real tests of how consumer oriented ASUS really is / is not.
  • I know Clove of old and rate their opinion. If they have pulled it there IS a real problem. Perhaps ASUS are just pushing too hard. Without sorting key technical problems out and delivering adequate supply, people will get fed up waiting and move on to something else.
  • I suspect that supply is more of an issue with a retailer than are issues with warranty claims. Even in store replacements are not a problem if you have plenty of units on hand. This is two in a row for Asus. Very nice designs that they can't deliver in quantity sufficient to justify the hype. Maybe they should join forces with Acer, who managed to sell over a million tablets in the first 9 months, in spite of an unexciting design.
  • in contrast, I don't believe Clove. I think they realised that they were quite low down the list of preferred retailers and therefore they weren't going to be able to fulfill the orders that they had been taking. They have furthermore declined to comment about the nature of the tests that they ran on the Prime and the numbers involved. All very suspicious.
  • My transformer prime had 6 hot pixels, two backlight bleeds, and a white smear in the middle of the display. Also the frame of the display could be pressed in a bit, which lead to a faint noise.
  • I'll be honest, though I don't know this Clove company I think that most B&M retailers can be a little suspect. In the face of dwindling sales and margins as they compete with online shops they really have to push hard to make a profit. When there is a super-hot product that has been released with limited availability it hurts their sales. Every time someone comes in an asks for a Transformer Prime that they don't have in stock, that's a user that's likely to buy it online from someone else. In their ideal world they'd like to be able to dissuade you from buying that device and sell you something that they DO have in stock. But if they say "we'll get more TPs in" then you'll have to check back often, get on their waitlist, or buy somewhere else (which you usually end up doing). It's all about lost sales opportunities, and they know that while they have you in-store they have a limited period of exclusive access to you during which to sell. So if they say "we won't carry them, they're all defective, and even the defective units are hard to get" then you're more likely to buy a Galaxy Tab or whatever they DO have in stock. This doesn't just go for tablets, stores do the same thing with all kinds of products. I just bought a new mattress set this weekend where they tried to do the same thing to me.
  • About time that someone held Asus accountable for the fact that they never seem to have any availability when they launch a product. I stayed away for that reason. My money will go toward buying a product I can actually get my hands on.
  • Asus sold 1.8 million original Transformers between April-December 2011. Maybe Acer should join Asus... lol