Asus, Lenovo, Toshiba, Samsung to launch Windows RT tablets this year. Others await Microsoft’s permission in January
Apart from Surface, which is made by Microsoft itself, we know very little about who else will launch Windows RT based tablets this year. And there’s a good reason for that.
Microsoft is being very careful and controlling in selecting OEMs, who will be allowed to make the first wave of Win 8 RT devices.
According to Chinese Economic Times, each major Windows RT ARM chipset vendor – NVIDIA, Texas Instruments and Qualcomm – was allowed to select only two OEM partners for the original launch. NVIDIA got Lenovo and Asus, Texas Instruments chose Toshiba, and Qualcomm went with Samsung and HP. Now, that Hewlett-Packard decided not to do ARM tablet at first, Qualcomm might be working with Dell to fill the vacancy.
Microsoft will lift the restrictions on Windows RT licensing, and allow wider set of OEMs into the ARM tablet game in January.
So, even though Microsoft itself won’t be present there, we can expect an avalanche of new Win 8 RT tablet announcements during CES, early next year. With the second wave of Windows ARM tablets shipping in the first quarter of 2013.