Feeds

Small, Cheap Computer sales to soar as Intel boosts Atom supply

End in sight for battery shortage too, vendors cheer

High performance access to file storage

Computex Asus' President, Jerry Shen, has forecast sales of Small, Cheap Computers™ will top 10m units this year, presumably having been encouraged by Intel bigwig Sean Maloney's promise of "very, very high volumes" of Atom CPUs by September.

What a week for this emerging market segment it's been. On Monday, Shen was reported to have indicated a shortage of Intel's Atom N270 and 230 processor, aimed at small laptops and desktops, respectively.

Thanks to Asus' release of the Celeron M-based Eee PC 900, Shen reckons Asus is less susceptible to any Atom famine than its rivals. Companies, like HP, that are using VIA's C7-M processor should be safe too, but it could leave Dell, Acer, MSI, Gigabyte and others only able to ramp up volumes slowly.

Shen's eye, however, is looking further out, particularly the coming Christmas sales season. If Intel can sort out Atom production by October, everything will be fine, Shen suggested.

Asus' old Eee girl

Asus Eee PC and friend: swelling demand

The next day, Asus announced its Atom-based Eee PC 901 and 1000; Gigabyte took the wraps off its M912; MSI formally launched the Wind, in both sub-notebook and desktop forms; and Acer unveiled its £199 Aspire One.

Intel, SanDisk, TDK, Samsung and others separately announced solid-state drive components aimed at such machines.

Separately, VIA announced a revamp of its NanoBook SCC reference design, now made more Eee-like and restyled the OpenBook.

Enter Maloney, speaking at the Computex show in Taipei, where he was interviewed by IDG. Speaking to the newswire on Tuesday, he said: "By September, there are going to be very, very high volumes."

Problem sorted, hopefully, and today Shen was reported to have made that 10m sales forecast, which is predicated on sales of 7m SCCs fitted with Atom processors. The rest are split between Intel's Celeron M and VIA's C7-M, with the former fading as Atom volumes ramp up, we'd suggest.

Shen's confident of Asus' ability to cope: he claimed Intel has guaranteed it will get a given quantity of Atoms for the Eee PC 901 and 1000, and, as we say, there's the Eee PC 900 to fall back on.

Computex Small, Cheap Computers

Computex SCCs: (clockwise from top left) Acer Aspire One, Asus Eee PC 1000, Gigabyte M912, MSI Wind

One other component hindering SCC demand is battery availability, which has hit Asus and others already. It's one reason, we suspect, why Asus shipped UK and European Eee PC 900s with a 4400mAh battery, while a 5800mAH power pack went to other territories. That's just our guess - Asus hasn't confirmed or denied it.

Shen said the battery dearth will ease by July, which is good timing given than the first Atom-based SCCs, such as Acer's Aspire One, aren't expected to ship until late June or early July.

Related Sub-notebook Reviews
Vye mini-v S37B
Asus Eee PC 900
Apple MacBook Air
Toshiba Portégé R500
Maxdata Belinea s.book 1
Asus Eee PC 701

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Report: Apple seeking to raise iPhone 6 price by a HUNDRED BUCKS
'Well, that 5c experiment didn't go so well – let's try the other direction'
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Nvidia gamers hit trifecta with driver, optimizer, and mobile upgrades
Li'l Shield moves up to Android 4.4.2 KitKat, GameStream comes to notebooks
Feast your PUNY eyes on highest resolution phone display EVER
Too much pixel dust for your strained eyeballs to handle
AMD unveils Godzilla's graphics card – 'the world's fastest, period'
The Radeon R9 295X2: Water-cooled, 5,632 stream processors, 11.5TFLOPS
FOUR DAYS: That's how long it took to crack Galaxy S5 fingerscanner
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Sony battery recall as VAIO goes out with a bang, not a whimper
The perils of having Panasonic as a partner
NORKS' own smartmobe pegged as Chinese landfill Android
Fake kit in the hermit kingdom? That's just Kim Jong-un-believable!
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.