Asustek's low-priced Eee PC helps boost revenue
(AP Online Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) TAIPEI, Taiwan_A low-price laptop product line is helping Taiwan's Asustek Computer Inc. generate record revenue despite signs of slowing global growth, a senior company executive said Tuesday.
Chief Executive Jerry Shen said the company is expecting revenue will grow 26 percent to $834.31 million (New Taiwan dollars 27 billion) in September with the prospects for October and November even brighter.
Shen attributed much of the success to Asustek's budget Eee PCs, whose prices range from $300 to $1,000.
"The sales of computers, as daily necessity goods, are only slightly affected during a financially turbulent period," he said in an interview with The Associated Press.
Since launching the Eee PCs last year, Asustek has shipped about 4 million models, according to company officials.
Asustek's success with Eee PCs has already prompted competitors, including Taiwan-based Acer Inc. and U.S.-based Dell Inc., to launch their own low-price laptops.
On Tuesday, Asustek unveiled a new Eee PC model, the S101, aimed at Christmas shoppers in Europe and the United States that costs $699. The new machine boasts an ultra-thin, ultra-light style. It weighs only 2.2 pounds (1 kilogram) and is a half-inch (1.8 centimeters) thick.
Asustek stock has lost about 18 percent in the past month _ a drop Shen attributed to the generally pessimistic tone on world markets.
He did however, adopt a cautious attitude about 2009, based on competitors' possible responses to Asustek's continuing dominance in the small laptop market.
"The worst I am expecting is that next year's profit growth might be cut in half if our competitors start to offer ludicrously low prices to attract consumers in a sluggish economy," he said.
(This version CORRECTS company name spelling in lede, 5th graf.)
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