Feeds

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

End in sight for battery shortage too, vendors cheer

Intelligent flash storage arrays

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

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Don't wait for that big iPad, order a NEXUS 9 instead, industry little bird says
Google said to debut next big slab, Android L ahead of Apple event
Xperia Z3: Crikey, Sony – ANOTHER flagship phondleslab?
The Fourth Amendment... and it IS better
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
A drone of one's own: Reg buyers' guide for UAV fanciers
Hardware: Check. Software: Huh? Licence: Licence...?
The Apple launch AS IT HAPPENED: Totally SERIOUS coverage, not for haters
Fandroids, Windows Phone fringe-oids – you wouldn't understand
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
Here's your chance to buy an ancient, working APPLE ONE
Warning: Likely to cost a lot even for a Mac
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.