Asustek CEO Discusses Netbooks, Eee Pad in Wake of iPad

Jerry Shen, Asustek’s CEO, gave a strong vote of confidence to Eee PC netbooks and their continuing ability to attract buyers in the wake of Apple’s iPad launch. In a conference with investors in Taipei earlier today, he discussed what he (and Asustek Computer) see as the difference between devices like Apple’s iPad and Asustek’s eee PC netbook line.

He considers tablet PCs to be a “cloud computing device” and mentioned that Apple has helped to give that market a boost. Shen sees it as iPad users storing their data online or “in the cloud” while netbook users continue to have a need to store data and software on the actual netbooks, which is a major difference between the two.

Asustek’s CEO did discuss the upcoming Eee Pad tablet PC later this year (June) at Computex Taipei 2010. The first models will be running some form of Microsoft Windows (probably Windows 7), and the launch will depend on customer demand. Shen said if there isn’t enough demand, the launch could be delayed.

Other items of interest: Asustek shipped 1.6 million devices in the Eee PC line in the first quarter of this year, but Shen believes this will go up as much as 5% this quarter. Overall they are predicting 18 million Eee PCs shipping this year alone, over twice as many as last year. They also appear to be following Apple’s lead and signing contracts for memory chips rather than dealing with the spot market and buying on demand, which should help lower prices over the long-term.

Read: PC World/Yahoo/IDG News Service