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Asus to Hike Prices of Eee PC, Notebooks

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 15 comments

According to several reports, Asus has announced an increase in price for all of its portable computers, including the ever popular Eee PC.

ARN reports that Asus will increase prices on all existing and upcoming notebooks and Eee Family products effective March 1, 2009. Some models will see an increase of up to 20 percent.

While there are no specifics, it’s worrying that the Eee line is included in this. Netbooks are, by definition, a cheap and cheerful solution to mobile computing and while we appreciate the fact that Asus needs to make money, we can’t imagine raising the price on existing models will do much for the company’s reputation as the company that kicked the craze off in the first place.

At $400, an Eee PC is pretty decent value, however, an increase of 20 percent will put it not too far from $500. We’re inclined to think that if someone is willing to pay $500 for a netbook, they’re probably willing to pay a couple of hundred more for a machine that can do considerably more than a netbook. This price hike will put the Eee PC out of reach for a lot of people who want a netbook but are determined to stick to a budget; and with the netbook market as “us too” as it is, people have more alternatives to the Eee than they could shake a stick at.

If these rumors come to fruition, it’ll be interesting to see what happens to Eee sales. Stay tuned for more. 

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  • 5 Hide
    _horse , February 11, 2009 7:08 PM
    Yeah, definately not a good move for consumer interest, but I can understand the price hike.

    It's my hope that ASUS can remember we're all hurting here, and that along with the complete mobility status of these really cool little rigs, the sale price in this economy was the big selling factor.

    I dont suspect that this is going to "kill" the netbook market, but it DEFINATELY wont be helping it.
  • -7 Hide
    pug_s , February 11, 2009 7:32 PM
    Asus is not the leader of the netbook market anyways. They buried the right shift button in some corner. That's why Acer is the leader of the pack.
  • 0 Hide
    _horse , February 11, 2009 7:43 PM
    Doesn't necessarily need to be "leader of the pack" so to speak. It's still gonna hurt for consumers. Everyone goes to different companies for different choices.

    Oh and if you look at newegg on the netbook's page, the top three are ASUS.
  • 1 Hide
    _horse , February 11, 2009 7:48 PM
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=2034940772%204802&name=Top%20Sellers
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , February 11, 2009 8:27 PM
    Probably with the economy and stuff.. They probably didn't sell as many as they hoped they would in 2008.
    But then near to 500 for a mininetbook? That's crazy!
    Just for reference, the OLPC was aimed to become the $100 pc; as well as the Eeepc was aimed to be a sub $200 Pc!

    I won't be buying one soon then.
    Especially not knowing Intel came along with the newer chipset.
    They probably want to quickly sell stock,and have a reason to boost up the price of the next EeePc (with atom N208 or something) before they will drop them again.
    Typical marketing decisions.
    If they had stayed on their $200 priceline everyone in my family would have had at least one!
  • 0 Hide
    lookuphere , February 11, 2009 8:54 PM
    dumb move; probably doing this to slightly boost current (and gradually lagging) PC sales.

    I'll call this bluff and wait until April.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , February 11, 2009 9:51 PM
    Acer makes a netbook?
  • 0 Hide
    mdillenbeck , February 11, 2009 10:14 PM
    We'll have to wait and see if any other manufacturers do the same. We are all hurting economically, but a company does have an expectation to be profitable. If they are breaking even on netbooks, they are faced with a choice - increase the cost to make a profit or cut the product line. Which would be prefered?

    I think that Asus has several interesting products coming up. I am very excited about the T91/T101 series, as I would love a netbook tablet to tote to physics, chemistry, and biology classes instead of a heavy convertable or expensive slate! Also, I think Asus is planning to move away from the traditional "its a desktop" or "its a laptop" device and into the more ubiquitous "its there - but I didn't realize it was a computer" model.
  • 2 Hide
    NuclearShadow , February 11, 2009 10:53 PM
    Asus is going to face serious problems if their competitors either don't raise the prices along with them or if they simply don't raise it as much. If they think they aren't making any profits now once they raise those prices and people go elsewhere they will certainly be making a loss. Sometimes its better to make a small profit from each sale if the sales are stable than to make a larger profit with less sales and this would be one of those cases.
  • 0 Hide
    rhelme , February 12, 2009 2:46 AM
    Hmmmm, economy is in the crapper, people generally don't have as much disposable income, and ASUS thinks that right now is the time to raise the price on what is a very low end PC?? I sure hope this is a rumor as I can't think of a faster way to kill sales than to raise the price by a staggering 20%.

    I guess I will believe it when I see it... I was considering picking one of these up to use when I traveled in airports and hotels, but with the 20% possible increase, I can pick up a machine that has a few more bells and whistles for about an added 10%.

    I guess sometimes greed can actually shrink your market and make something that was pulling in a few dollars actually sell alot less and in the long run cause them to lose money...

  • 0 Hide
    bounty , February 12, 2009 4:24 PM
    if you're going to increase the price by 20% (60$?) at least throw in a gimmick, various colors/inserts, a serial port, a GPS chip or up the video to a 9400m or something.
  • 1 Hide
    aapocketz , February 12, 2009 5:25 PM
    was I the only one who zoomed in on the thumbnail?
  • 0 Hide
    captaincharisma , February 12, 2009 6:57 PM
    well this move will put Acer netbooks on top of the bestseller list
  • 1 Hide
    Master Exon , February 12, 2009 8:31 PM
    bountyif you're going to increase the price by 20% (60$?) at least throw in a gimmick, various colors/inserts, a serial port, a GPS chip or up the video to a 9400m or something.

    Seriously... a serial port? Seriously?
  • 0 Hide
    Humans think , February 12, 2009 9:29 PM
    As I have foreseen, they want to augment basal prices for the netbook market, this is a result of simple logic.

    I will explain: Hardware produced and all its resellers for netbooks is produced by general manufacturers of the notebook industry (Intel and all its resellers - Asus/Acer). Since the market share is limited to say $XX billion they have to better exploit this market niche. To put it simple netbooks are secondary PCs which means that the need for a powerful desktop PC is there but then you only need a netbook to have portability. If you have a powerful laptop then you have a solution somewhere in the middle, for the same money you have sub par performance and par portability. People will come to realize this fact as the market matures and since the big laptop bang many mature by now users realize that the best solution is a Desktop PC (max performance) and a netbook (max portability). That said netbooks cannibalize on laptop market. Although this may lead to more pieces sold the profit margin is lower since the price is a very important factor of the netbook market. If the computer market behaved like a cartel (I'm not sure yet) then a notion from the leader of the market (ASUS) would be translated from the others like this: "Come on guys these times are difficult, let's squeeze some bucks out of this category"

    There are only 3 solutions to the problem
    1) Companies dedicated to the netbook market.
    2) Expand market (developing countries that can not afford laptops)
    3) Real competition Nvidia VS Intel platform to drop prices

    Final remarks
    Even if all above solutions coexist markets can locally be regulated (and they are) to maximize profit for specific regions.

    So what do you think?