Say what you will about Asus' Eee PCs, they certainly seem to be selling like hot cakes. DigiTimes reports that Asus shipped 700,000 of the netbooks in September alone—a "new monthly high—for a total of 1.7 million Eee PC shipments in the third quarter. Despite increasing competition from firms like Acer and MSI, Asus reportedly expects shipments to stay about the same in October and November, too.
Short of cutting into Asus' shipments, heated competition could still hurt Asus' bottom line. DigiTimes quotes Taiwan's Commercial Times as saying Asus might cut margins from 15-20% to around 15% in order to stay competitive—a claim Asus itself denied, saying margins "will remain steady." The firm added that shipments of 10" Eee PCs like the 1000H model will go up this quarter.
You don't need an economics degree to figure out why Eee PCs are selling so well. Netbooks in general enjoy all the key ingredients of high-volume items: low prices, plenty of hype, and widespread availability. That's probably why seven of Amazon's top 10 best-sellers in computers and PC hardware are netbooks.