JB’s beats rivals to the Eee PC 1000, selling it before release

By Chris Nicholls

MELBOURNE: JB Hi-Fi has scored a massive coup with the new Asus Eee PC 1000, offering it for sale in its latest catalogue ahead of all its competitors and several days before the computer has even been released officially.

The retailer is selling the computer, which follows on from the recently released Eee PC 901, for RRP$698. Due to its early release, there is no way to compare the $698 price with Asus’ official RRP.

The Eee PC 1000 differs from its recently released Eee PC 901 stablemate by its 10 inch screen, up from nine inches in the 900 and 901 models, and its 80 GB hard disc. The 1.3 megapixel webcam remains, but battery life is now a claimed 4.5 hours.

JB’s move places it as one of the first retailers outside of Taiwan to sell the device, with Amazon.com only opening its pre-order book for the device yesterday. The online retailer will sell the same version as sold by JB Hi-Fi for US$649 with free shipping.

Speaking to Current.com.au, JB Hi-Fi chief executive, Richard Uechtritz, said the deal was based on the company’s successful relationship with the Taiwanese maker.

“It’s reflecting our size and position in the marketplace, simple as that” he said.

“We’re number two retailer after Harvey’s in the computer business in the country, so as number two in the country, my guess on it is we’ve had a longer and stronger relationship with Asus than number one [Harvey Norman].”

However, an Asus spokesperson contradicted Uechtritz’s views, saying the deal was simply a case of early delivery stock arriving and it was simply "first in, first served".

She said full delivery stock was now in the country and no exclusivity existed.

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