The Asus Eee Pad Transformer prime is on top of the tablet game at the moment, despite some big setbacks in the bootloader department. And though the company’s German arm previously stated that there were no plans to bring a mobile broadband version of the tablet to market, another part of the Asus seems to think differently. Tablet Writings reports that the Asus office in charge of Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg stated that a 3G Transformer Prime will be available some time in the future.
The office also stated that the hotly anticipated bootloader unlock will be released in February – previously, Asus hadn’t given a timeframe. The Android mod community was up in arms after discovering that the high-powered flagship tablet had a locked bootloader, making custom kernels, recoveries and ROMs difficult if not impossible. Listening to the outcry, Asus agreed to provide and unlock method on the condition that it would void users’ warranties. The long-promised Ice Cream Sandwich update to the tablet is scheduled for January 12th, so Asus won’t have to re-engineer a bootloader solution.
3G Android tablets aren’t selling well, at least in comparison to their WiFi-only counterparts. A lot of that has to do with the fact that many people don’t want to pay for yet another data connection, and in the United States, they don’t want to be stuck in another two-year contract. The iPad is offered on pay-as-you go plans, as it has been at launch, but Android tablets don’t get the same privileges, despite often being as expensive or more so.
Asus’ worldiwde and North American offices have said nothing to indicate that a 3G version of the Transformer is forthcoming, so this could simply be an error on the part of the Benelux office. We look forward to finding out.