Asus isn't happy with the cut they take on each Eee unit sold. The cost of manufacturing the units has gone up, for both the raw hardware and the manufacturing process itself, and this has hurt Asus' bottom line. These factors and others may have contributed to a recent decision by the company to increase prices across the board on their Eee products, as well as their notebooks. It seems that much of their hardware will see a price hike as high as 20%, starting on March 1st. Not all products will see the same increase, but specifics were not mentioned.
Asus may be one of the leaders in netbook sales at the moment, but that doesn't mean it will last. They largely enjoyed a first to market lead over everyone else, and initially kept their prices attractive. Unless the majority of other netbook vendors follow suit in a price jump, I feel that Asus may be shooting themselves in the foot here. Twenty percent is a very significant boost, and could easily mean the difference between a sale and someone looking at another vendor's products. Hiking the cost of a notebook that is already carrying a hefty price tag is one thing, but of a product designed to be low-cost is another. Assuming an Eee PC sounded good at $400, would you say it sounds just as good at $480?