Asustek plans to restructure, sell fewer versions of Eee PC

Asustek Computer Inc., which pioneered the netbook market with its Eee PC line, plans to further slim down its business units and reduce the variety of netbooks it sells.

Asustek will launch only two or three versions of the Eee PC this year, such as the Eee PC Touch and Eee PC Seashell, a company representative said today.

The new netbook strategy differs greatly from last year.

Asustek sold more than 20 different versions of the Eee PC last year, under names such as the Eee PC S101, Eee PC 1000H and Eee PC Surf. Analysts said the strategy hurt Asustek in fighting off competition from market newcomers, such as Acer Inc., Dell Inc. and Lenovo Group Ltd.

Asustek earlier this year announced a plan to reduce the number of divisions at the company by half, to six. Chinese-language newspapers in Taiwan say the new restructuring plan calls for a further reduction to three divisions.

The representative said the restructuring plan has not been finalized and declined further comment.

Asustek shipped 4.9 million Eee PCs last year, well behind Acer's projected shipments of 6 million Aspire One netbooks.

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