Netbook category suffering but new tablets on the way

Asus lowers netbook outlook due to iPad competition

Taiwanese manufacturer Asus experienced a drop in sales of its Eee PC netbooks in the second quarter of the year.

Competition from the iPad was cited by the company at a recent investor conference, according to a Digitimes report.

Asus was largely responsible for creating the netbook category, with the introduction of the Eee PC but since then many other manufactures have introduced similar devices aimed at internet use on the move, an area also targeted by the Apple iPad.

"Because of decreased shipments of motherboards, notebooks and netbooks, Asustek’s financial performance for the second quarter declined on quarter," said Asustek CEO Jerry Chen. "Asustek will continue to offer Eee PCs and will step into the tablet PC segment with its Eee Note and Eee Pad series." 

Asus also revealed details of the company’s product roadmap with a 10-inch Eee based on the Intel Atom N550 due around September, 8.9-inch ARM-powered tablet running Linux due in October and a 12-inch Intel Arrandale Windows 7 tablet in the December to January time frame.

Asus also pointed to a 10-inch Eee Pad tablet PC based on ARM and the Nvidia Tegra platform and running the Android operating system for released in March 2011. The fact Asus are looking to Linux for a tablet in October suggests that the firm doesn’t consider Android ready for the tablet just yet.

The Windows 7 tablet was also said to be aimed at around the $1,000 mark in stark contrast to the Linux and Android tablets aimed at the $300-$400 range.

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