updated 10:20 pm EST, Thu December 2, 2010
ASUS netbooks may drop 25pc through iPad, more
ASUS' netbook sales could drop by 25 percent or more next year due to the effect of the iPad and other tablets, reported industry estimates claimed today. The system builder is estimated to be shipping six million Eee PCs by the end of this year, or 50 percent of all its systems, but would ship just four to 4.5 million in 2011 with tablets factored in and would make up just 25 percent of its computers. The 2010 estimate was itself a drop from 6.8 million in 2009, Digitimes' contacts said.
Acer would also its share contract under this estimate, although exact numbers weren't given. It has insisted the platform wouldn't die off but did so just as prices were being slashed in its home area of Taiwan. It's unknown whether the industry sources have access to inside knowledge such as production estimates, although ASUS itself lowered its estimates in the summer. The new figures would drop the numbers again.
The exact effect of the iPad on netbooks has yet to be completely quantified, although it could be as high as 13 percent, according to NPD data. However, despite denials in a Microsoft fiscal results call, one Microsoft executive said iPads were hurting netbook sales as both were supplementary systems that could easily be replaced by something else. Most arguments of a tablet effect contended that they were drawing away netbook sales by being genuinely different as well as thinner, lighter and longer lasting on battery.
ASUS hadn't commented on the accuracy of the claim as of Thursday night. It will have tablets of its own in the form of the Eee Pad series but won't ship them in earnest until early 2011.