priceeeLow cost netbooks may be selling like hotcakes during the recession. But it still costs money to make and distribute these little laptops, making the profit margins pretty slim. So it’s not completely surprising to see an Australian news portal reporting that Asus plans to raise prices on all its existing and upcoming notebooks including its Eee PC netbooks by as much as 20 percent.

But the report does leave a few questions. Will the price hikes be for Australia only, or will the be heard around the world? And how would Asus be able to fend off competition from Acer, Dell, and other computer makers that are offering machines in the $300 to $350 price range if it hikes its prices. Perhaps we’ll see a 1 to 5 percent price increase in Eee PC models, and higher markups on more expensive laptops from Asus?

I’m trying to get a comment from Asus on this story. I’ll let you know what, if anything, I find out.

Update: My contact at Asus says he hasn’t heard anything about this, so I’m going to file it as a rumor for now.

Update 2: A German Asus rep has also denied that any price hikes are on the way.

via Netbook

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