Asus announced at CES that it will cooperate with Intel and Sprint Nextel to push WiMAX notebooks this year.
Asustek is planning to adopt WiMAX technology in its mainstream and performance level notebooks plus low-cost PCs, including the VX2 and U6 notebooks, the enterprise-based V1, UMPC R50A and mainstream F88 notebook, with the company's next generation Eee PC to also feature built-in WiMAX technology, noted Shih. WiMAX-based products will account for 15% of the company's own-brand notebook shipments, noted the chairman, adding that prices will start from US$999.
The company is optimistic that 20% of notebook users will start using WiMAX technology before the end of 2009. However, due to the faster build up of WiMAX infrastructure in the US, Asustek will initially focus its WiMAX lineup in the US, detailed Shih.
The growth of the notebook market in 2008 will still depend on factors such as the worldwide gasoline prices and the US subprime mortgage crisis, noted Jerry Shen, president of Asustek. Shen added that even in the worst scenario, Asustek's notebook shipments will still see a 20% on-year growth and possibly even 30%