updated 01:50 am EDT, Thu March 12, 2009
ASUS Merging Eee w PC Line
ASUS' Eee PC line may be subsumed into its regular notebook line if tips from market contacts prove accurate. In speaking with Digitimes, the sources claim the company is worried enough about the management costs and other overhead of keeping the netbook- and nettop-specific Eee PC group separate that it has already sent out a tentative plan for bringing it into the notebook group and plans to finalize a timetable shortly. Company CEO Jerry Shen has declined to either confirm or deny the switch.
The reunion would be a relatively quick change of heart for ASUS. The Taiwan-area company quickly put Eee PC models into their own, distinct group after the early netbooks thrived and gave room both to expand the netbook line as well as to add desktops and peripherals under the Eee name. While the budget PCs are expected to soften falling PC sales and thus help ASUS, their gains aren't believed to be offsetting any losses in higher-end notebooks, which are still suffering in the current economic climate.
Other computer builders that are thriving on netbooks, like Acer, typically keep the mini PCs within larger groups.