It looks like that rumor that Asus would be adding touchscreen displays to the Eee PC just got a whole lot stronger. Digitimes has received confirmation from Asus VP of sales Kevin Lim.

Lim says the Eee PC 900 with a touchscreen and possibly built-in GPS, should ship in May or June for about NT$15,000 or US$500. It's not clear whether you'll have to get a unit with GPS and a touchscreen, or if these will be optional components.

In other news, a fire at an LG Chem plant in early March has caused a worldwide shortage of laptop batteries, which could affect the Eee PC ship date.

ccording to Kevin Lin, vice president of Asustek's sales department. Pricing is projected to reach NT$15,000 (US$500), Lin added.

The company is also looking to ship its E-DT (desktop PC) priced at US$199 at the same time, according to Lin.

The company aims to ship up to five million Eee PCs in 2008 through retail channels and contract orders combined, with quarterly retail-only shipments expected to total 650,000-700,000 units, according to the company. The device is seeing a 50% supply shortage in the Taiwan and Hong Kong regions and 70% worldwide in the first quarter of 2008.

Lin also pointed out that the company currently is facing a battery shortage for its Eee PCs due to a fire at a plant of LG Chem earlier this month but expects to solve the battery shortage in the second quarter of this year.

The 8.9-inch Eee PC will adopt Intel's low-cost notebook platform and the lowest memory capacity will be upgraded from 512MB to 1GB, while the SSD (solid state drive) capacity will be upgraded from 4-8GB to 8-12GB, according to industry sources.


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