TAIPEI (Reuters) - Taiwan's Asustek Computer (2357.TW) expects to sell 5 million new Eee PCs globally next year, a senior company official said on Wednesday, up two-thirds from its previous sales forecast.
Asustek, which recently launched a child-friendly Eee PC, had said it hoped the new line of cheaper notebook PCs would vault it ahead of some competitors as it boosts its share in North America, where it has less than 1 percent of the market.
Asustek is now selling around 20,000 Eee PCs per month, Vice President Kevin Lin told reporters at a media luncheon. Lin gave the new target for 2008 after the company said last month that it expected to ship more than 3 million Eee PCs next year.
The Eee PCs will carry Asustek's brand name, as the Taiwan firm seeks to follow in the footsteps of hometown rival Acer (2353.TW) in trying to develop a globally recognized brand.
Asustek had said that it hoped to become the world's fifth-largest laptop PC vendor by 2010.
In late trade on Wednesday, Asustek shares had dropped 1.8 percent to T$98.70, lagging a 0.6 percent fall in the main TAIEX share index .TWII.
The Taiwan company competes with Acer in its own-brand business and electronics maker Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (2317.TW) in its contract manufacturing side.
It makes laptops for major vendors such as Apple Inc (AAPL.O) and Dell Inc DELL.O, and also sells its own brand name computers.
(Reporting by Sheena Lee; Editing by Baker Li)