Report: Asus laptops to hit Wal-mart later this year

Eee PCs have already made their way into Best Buy and Target stores in the United States. Could these netbooks break down the last door to mainstream acceptance by settling onto Walmart store shelves? That might actually happen this year, according to a report by DigiTimes.

Citing anonymous "market sources in Taiwan," DigiTimes says Asus "is expected to start marketing its notebooks through Wal-Mart in the second half of 2009." That statement admittedly doesn't refer to netbooks specifically, but the same article discusses aggregate shipments of all Asus portable PCs—including netbooks—three paragraphs up. Besides, if Asus is going to sell laptops at Walmart, cheap and cheerful Eee PCs seem like prime candidates. The store chain already stocks Aspire Ones from Acer.

Asus reportedly aims to increase U.S. notebook shipments from 650,000 units in 2008 to over a million this year. DigiTimes also quotes research firm IDC, which says 300,000 of Asus' shipments last year came in the fourth quarter. Acer shipped 1.4-1.5 million notebooks and netbooks in the U.S. that same quarter.

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