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ASUS: 'We run out of hard disks at the end of the month'

Good job we make all those Flash-based netbooks

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ASUS managed a slight increase in profit for the third quarter of this year, despite the global slowdown in PC sales.

ASUS is still shipping notebooks, but has also been strong in netbooks and has launched its own fondleslab range, all siblings to its popular Eee PC netbook, led by the Eee Pad Transformer, but to eventually include the Eee Memo, Slider and Slate.

Consumer appetite for PCs and laptops has been pretty paltry for the last year, but it looks like ASUS's combo strategy has helped it keep its head above water as it bagged a net income of NT$4.68 billion (£98m), up 11 per cent on the third quarter of last year.

The Taiwanese firm is also an early arrival at the Ultrabook party, with the recent release of its Zenbook UX31, so it really is covering all bases.

Depending on who you listen to, tablets are going to destroy netbooks, which previously obliterated laptops and are due to be irrevocably damaged by ultrabooks. Whichever of these end up being true, if any, should leave ASUS in a good position, since it has eggs in all baskets.

The company said it shipped 4.3 million notebooks in the third quarter, along with 800,000 Eee Pads and 1.3 million Eee PCs. However, it expects next quarter to be less rosy, with notebooks only shipping 4.1 million, Eee Pads 600,000 and Eee PCs 1.2 million.

Part of the reason for the reduction in Q4 is down to the flooding in Thailand, as the company has said it only has hard disk drive (HDD) inventory until the end of November.

"Substitutes for HDD are very few, so if the situation persists, not only notebook production will be affected but also desktops, and other component shipments will also drop," Asustek CFO David Chang told Reuters.

He added that the prices of HDDs are very mixed at the moment with some prices surging 20 to 40 per cent. ®

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