Asus roadmap for 2014 includes Chromebook line and new smartphones

Asus is looking to expand its footprint past the dwindling traditional PC business with the launch of more smartphones and its first Chromebook line.

Asus CEO Jerry Shen told investors at a recent conference that the company planned to launch new smartphones during the Consumer Electronics show in Las Vegas in January 2014, according to Taipei Times.

The executive didn't reveal which smartphones would be announced specifically, but if a leaked roadmap from August is to be any indication, Asus is planning to launch a 5-inch MeMOFone handset.

As for Chromebooks, Shen said the company wanted to broaden its reach outside the realm of traditional Windows-based laptops. Apparently Google's ChromeOS, which is often aimed at cheaper laptops for students and entry-level consumers, is a more enticing option.

Even with more manufacturers jumping with Chrome OS, the Chromebook platform struggles to gain marketshare. According to IDC numbers from earlier this week, the Chromebook market sat at 1 per cent of all shipped PC/tablets in Q3 2013. Samsung led the way with roughly 652,000 Chromebooks shipped, and other vendors represented "tiny volume".

ASUS apparently wants to shake that low number. The executive told investors an 11.6-inch model for $199 and 13.3-inch model for $249 will be made available in early 2014. Specifics of the design and features weren't revealed, but given the price point we can't see ASUS varying too far from the traditional Chromebook look.

Furthermore, Asus plans to show off wearable devices during next year’s Computex in early June. This isn't surprising, given just about every manufacturer out there - including Dell - is looking into wearables as the next business break.

Talking its traditional business, Asus forecasts its laptop shipments will grow 8.88 per cent to 4.9 million units from last quarter, while tablet shipments will increase 2.85 per cent to 3.6 million units.