Thu, Nov 29, 2007 - Page 12 News List

Eee PC sales outstrip supply: Asustek

ON TRACK By the end of this year, Asustek Computer Inc is looking to sell more than 350,000 Eee PCs worldwide and is targeting selling more than 5 million units next year

By Lisa Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Local computer maker Asustek Computer Inc (華碩電腦) yesterday said sales of its low-cost Eee PCs were gathering steam around the globe, including in its home market, keeping it on track to hit its goal of selling as many as 5 million units.

The company's low-cost laptop computer has received a warm response since its launch late last month, resulting in insufficient supply, an Asustek official said yesterday.

"In Hong Kong, limited supply has caused price hikes," said Kevin Lin (林福能), a vice president at Asustek.

Lin attributed the insufficient supply of Eee PCs to a shortage of 7-inch liquid-crystal-display panels, batteries and wireless chipsets.

The popularity of Asustek's Eee PC has led rivals, such as Acer Inc, the world's No.4 computer vendor, to speed up the development of similar products.

At home, sales of Eee PCs are expected to grow 60 percent to 40,000 units next month, up from 25,000 units in the first month following its debut, said Jose Liao (廖逸翔), a product manager at Asustek.

The 60 percent increase in sales predicted next month includes the boost expected to come from the nation's annual electronics fair, or IT Month, in Taipei, Taichung and Kaohsiung that targets mainly local consumers, he said.

"We hope to sell as many as we have ... Insufficient supply has limited sales," Liao said.

By the end of this year, the Taiwanese computer company is looking to sell more than 350,000 Eee PCs worldwide and top 5 million units next year.

Asustek is expected to ship 8 million own-brand notebook computers next year, CLSA Ltd (里昂證券) predicted.

Without counting the new category notebook computers, such as the Eee PC, shipments of notebooks are expected to grow by 25 percent annually to around 118 million units next year, up from 94.3 million this year, Taipei-based market researcher Market Intelligence Center (資訊市場情報中心) said.

Asustek also expected branded notebook computer sales during IT Month to increase 30 percent to more than 30,000 units from last year's 24,000 units, excluding Eee PCs, Lin said.

"The sales will certainly boost Asustek's December revenues, but we see it more as a benchmark of consumer confidence," Lin said.

Asustek, the nation's biggest notebook computer brand, is looking to expand its local market share by up to 40 percent next year from its current 34 percent to 35 percent share, widening the gap with Acer, Liao said.

Asustek shares fell 1.89 percent to NT$98.60 yesterday.

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