Asus had planned to sell over 7 million netbooks and 6 million full sized laptops in 2009. But the global economic crisis is taking its toll on everybody – even the makers of low cost mini-laptops like the Eee PC. While the recession is likely part of the reason why the netbook market has grown so quickly over the last few years (after all, if you’re looking to save money, would you rather buy a $400 mini-laptop or a $800 full sized one?), it looks like Asus may have over-estimated its sales.
Last week, Asus said it expected to ship 1 million Eee PCs in the first quarter of 2009, and Reuters reports that the company’s Chief Financial Officer says Asus isn’t really able to make any projections for the rest of the year yet. There are just too many factors in flux. For one thing, there are a lot more people out of work than there were just a few months ago when Asus made its initial predictions. And even people who haven’t lost their jobs are wary of spending money on optional goods like netbooks. But it might not only be a question of demand. Asus is also reportedly planning to lay off 10% of its own workforce, which could affect the company’s ability to produce computers and parts at the projected levels.