"Asustek Computer's Eee PC achieved good performance in Japan having sold around 10,000 units during its first week of sale. The company expects the low-cost PC market in the second and third quarters of 2008 to fill up with new competitors, according to Jerry Shen, president of Asustek. Shen revealed that Acer will be the competitor able to pose the largest threat to the Eee PC due to the company's advantages in economic scale and experience in competitive pricing, market planning and manufacturing support. Hewlett-Packard (HP) will also be a noteworthy challenger, Shen added. Although Micro-Star International (MSI) and Gigabyte Technology will likely be able to carve out a small niche in the market, the keys to winning in the low-cost PC segment are strong research and development and expertise in chassis production, according to Shen. As a result Asustek does not consider the two a significant threat at this time.
The three major challenges for Asustek and the Eee PC in the future are to solve the issue of small panel size, increase battery life and shorten battery recharge time, Shen revealed. However, when questioned about whether changes to the design and specification will lead to increases in cost, thereby eliminating the Eee PC's main advantage, Shen noted that the Eee PC line up will expand to include elite level products, but stressed that each generation's mainstream price will not see much of a difference."