Asus plans to launch as many as three new Eee PCs in the next few months, and expects to sell between 1.5 million and 1.8 million Eee PCs in the third quarter, up from 1 million in Q2.
The figures show that the market for netbooks continues to heat up. Asus launched the first netbook last October, the original Eee PC with a 7in screen. In the first quarter, the company reported selling 700,000 Eee PCs.
Netbooks, or mini-laptops, are a new breed of device designed for mobility and surfing the internet. They normally weigh about 1kg, have 7in to 10in screens, carry long lasting batteries and connect wirelessly to the internet. They generally cost far less than the average laptop as well, £200 and £400 in the UK.
Asus also signed deals with four telecommunications network operators in Europe and Japan to sell Eee PCs packaged with 3G mobile telecommunications contracts, the company said. Asus predicted it will win more such deals in coming months.
Asus said it will reveal details of new Eee PC models soon.
Global netbook shipments will likely reach 8.02 million this year and then more than double to 18.3 million units in 2009, according to Taiwan's Market Intelligence Center (MIC). Market researcher IDC says around 430,000 netbooks were shipped in 2007.