With the Eee Pad Transformer, Asus isn't just serving up a decently specced competitor to the iPad—it's also undercutting Apple by $100 and letting users turn its device into a smartbook or sorts via an add-on keyboard dock. According to DigiTimes, Asus' aggressive strategy is paying dividends: the company has reportedly pulled into the number-two spot behind Apple in tablet shipments.
DigiTimes quotes "sources from notebook component makers citing figures from notebook ODMs" rather than official numbers—so, you know, you might want to take this news with a pinch of salt. Nevertheless, the site says Asus has managed to ship 400,000 Transformers in the first half of this year, making it the "largest tablet PC brand in the non-Apple tablet PC group."
400,000 units doesn't begin to compare with the kind of volume Apple is seeing (iPad shipments totaled 4.69 million during the Mac maker's last fiscal quarter), of course, and Asus is making some sacrifices to get there. DigiTimes claims the company makes almost no profit off the $399 version of the Transformer. Still, having the most popular—and arguably the most compelling—iPad alternative counts for something.