Netbook PC pioneer Asustek said on Monday it expects to ship 11-13 million portable PCs this year as demand increases in Europe and other markets.
We are seeing some demand increase in Europe, especially from eastern Europe, Asustek Chief Executive Jerry Shen told reporters on the sidelines of a product launch.
The latest forecast is roughly in line with previous estimates. In May, Asustek's chief operating officer, Tony Chen, said Asustek aimed to ship 13 million portable computers this year, up 25 percent from last year.
Shen also said he expects to ship up to 1 million of its newly launched ultra-thin laptop PCs this year. They run on an Intel chip that is meant to bridge the gap between a traditional laptop PC and a low-cost netbook PC.
We see a pick-up in demand there from the fourth quarter, Shen told reporters. There were initial concerns about how effective these computers would be, but we've managed to iron those problems out quite well.
Asustek has been gradually losing market share since it pioneered the highly successful low-cost netbook PC line in 2007, as bigger rivals such as Acer, HP and Dell also enter the space.
The netbook's smaller price tag coupled with the global economic slowdown has been blamed for falling revenue within the industry, with PC brands having to sell as many as six netbooks to make the same amount of money from a single laptop PC.
Many analysts say PC firms are banking on the new line of ultra-thin PCs to push up average selling prices and revenue, as netbooks increasingly begin cannibalising into their traditional laptop PC sales.
Shen gave his comments after the Taiwan stock exchange closed on Monday. Asustek shares were down 2.31 percent, lagging a 1.09 percent decline on the benchmark TAIEX share index .
(Reporting by Kelvin Soh; Editing by Ken Wills)