updated 11:30 pm EDT, Mon May 9, 2011
ASUS Eee PC sales down to 350K, new models
ASUS has had to whittle back its Eee PC shipments after sustained impact from tablets like the iPad, tipsters said Monday evening. It moved just 350,000 netbooks in April after tablets still "significantly impacted the demand," Digitimes claimed. In response, it would shoot back with a "killer" new Eee PC in June and an ultra-budget model at below $199 to widen the price gap with Apple and others.
No details have so far emerged of what either Eee PC would entail, but a dual-core Atom N570 or an AMD Fusion-based processor might occupy the high end. ASUS is already shipping variants on those such as the AMD-running Eee PC 1215B.
Although ASUS hasn't faced the upheaval that forced Acer to reorganize, it too has been hit in the long term. The company's notebook sales are still growing and could see it ship 3.1 million notebooks by the end of the spring, but its netbook sales are poised to drop below the 1.3 million it shipped in the winter, again owing primarily to the impact of the iPad.
Apple's devices have been significantly more expensive than a typical netbook at $499 or more. They have still had the advantage of a genuinely different design as well as greater portability, longer battery life, and faster subjective performance than frequently sluggish Atom-based netbooks.
ASUS may bounce back once Eee Pad Transformer supply catches up. However, any significant counter to the iPad may have to be a collective response from Asian manufacturers rather than ASUS, which doesn't plan to ship more than 300,000 Transformers in June. Acer's Iconia Tab A100, Lenovo's LePad, and MSI's WindPad models are all believed to be shipping in May.