ASUS notebook, netbook price increases? [UPDATE]

eee2[1] Australian site ARN is reporting that “ASUS has announced an increase in prices of up to 20 per cent on all existing and upcoming notebooks and Eee Family products, effective March 1, 2009,” citing, you guessed it, the economy.

The company also blames “an increase in the cost of computer parts and manufacturing operations,” according to ARN. You’ll recall that MSI readjusted the price of the Wind netbook in the face of high component costs and people were none-too pleased. Prices eventually slid back down to normal, though.

Whatever the case, a couple things aren’t yet clear. First, it’s not certain whether ASUS is referring to prices in the Australian market or worldwide prices, so let’s not read too far into it yet. Second, the increases would be “up to” 20 percent, so the cost of certain models might not be affected.

Nobody needs to remind ASUS that it’s not the only netbook manufacturer in town, though, and that netbooks consumers are highly price sensitive. Increasing prices too much could prove to be a pretty dicey move. Sometimes it’s best to just tough it out and break even until component and manufacturing costs get back under control.

UPDATE: ASUS Germany is denying the price increases, so this may all be a big pile of nothing. I’ll be sitting in on ASUS’ earnings call tomorrow, where it’s believed that the company will address the rumors.

ARN [via SlashGear]