Much of the discussion on the iPad's
purported disruptive effect on the computer industry has focused on devices like Amazon's Kindle
. A recent announcement from Asus, however, indicates the iPad has hit the netbook industry hard. This news tops off a rather wretched Q2 for the company—total sales revenue was $2.29 billion, down 6.6 percent quarter-on-quarter, with gross margin down 1.5 percentage points to 11.9 percent and net profit down 17.9 percent.
The decline affected multiple product segments, including motherboards, netbooks, and notebooks. Asus was mum on the reason for declining sales in the first and third categories, but blamed the iPad's popularity for decreasing Eee PC sales. Netbook sales have typically surged in Q3, but Asus is now predicting sales will decline to 1.4 million units. In Q1 and Q2 the company shipped 1.6 and 1.5 million netbooks.
Asus refreshed its netbook lineup with new ION 2 products in Q2, but still lost sales overall.
Despite lower sales forecasts, Asus is pushing ahead with its Eee-brand product launches and expansions. A new 10", Windows 7 netbook built around the Atom N550 (dual-core, 1.5GHz) is scheduled to launch in September at $399, the 8.9" Eee Note (Marvell-built ARM processor) will launch in October ($199-299), a 12" Eee Pad that uses Intel's Arrandale and runs Windows Embedded Compact 7 should drop in December-January of 2010 ($1000), and a 10" Eee Pad that combines an NVIDIA Tegra processor and Google's Android OS should tip up in March of 2011 somewhere south of $399.