Asus: Netbooks to get even cheaper in 2009

Asus president Jerry Shen has revealed that the company expects to release even cheaper netbooks next year, bringing its Eee PCs to a price as low as $200 (125).

Currently the cheapest Asus netbook is the Eee PC 900, which can be bought for around 225 (192 excluding VAT).

While prices at the low-end will drop, the size of the units themselves will increase, as Shen also revealed that the 7in and 8.9in display equipped Eee PCs will be gradually phased out of the market, leaving the 10in display as standard.

Shen also revealed that the Windows XP versions of the Eee PC outsell the Linux versions by a factor of 7:3. Most people also go for conventional hard disks, with only 30 per cent going for solid-state discs.

Eee PC's make up 22 per cent of the company's revenues, while Europe is its major market, contributing 53 per cent of its business. Asus is looking for 30 per cent of the overall market in netbooks in 2009, and is hoping to ship 6-7.5 million units.

Combined net profit for the whole company after tax for the first three quarters of 2008 was NT$19.25 billion (1.48 billion), a drop of 8.4 per cent on year, according to Shen.

Benny Har-Even

Benny Har-Even is a twenty-year stalwart of technology journalism who is passionate about all areas of the industry, but telecoms and mobile and home entertainment are among his chief interests. He has written for many of the leading tech publications in the UK, such as PC Pro and Wired, and previously held the position of technology editor at ITPro before regularly contributing as a freelancer.

Known affectionately as a ‘geek’ to his friends, his passion has seen him land opportunities to speak about technology on BBC television broadcasts, as well as a number of speaking engagements at industry events.