Remember that hot upcoming touchscreen swivel netbook that was totally going to bring forth the era of the tablet-netbook? Yeah, you know that one that was topping the Portal popularity charts for some time several months back? Yeah, that one! The Asus Eee T91. This device is nearing the anniversary of its announcement and has yet to hit the market in sufficient numbers (we reported on the T91 back at the beginning of January!). Not because of lack of demand, mind you, but because of lack of supply, it would seem. This once hot device has since fizzled and according to the portal, has lost much of the popularity that it had previously acquired.So what happened? It’s hard to say exactly, but the links section on the T91’s Portal page can help us reconstruct the story.
As I mentioned, we first reported on the T91 back on January the 7th, where it was announced at CES during an Asus event. As early as February, we saw some pretty detailed hands-on information, but presumably, this was still a pre-production model. We watched as the T91 passed through the FCC in April. Three months later, the T91 got an official product page on Asus’ site. Also in July, Asus UK told us that there would be three versions of the T91!
At this point, anticipation is really ramping up for the device.
Production model reviews start showing up from major sites around mid-July. But after all of this media attention, hands-on’s, and reviews from many websites, the T91 seemed to be released in a very limited quantity, and never hit the market with enough force to satiate the demand, or the attention that the T91 was being given at the time. A shame too because it seemed as though a lot of people were looking forward to this device. We reported on the 1st of August that T91 shipments were delayed to distributors (in our comments alone you can see that people were upset by this news), and the new shipment date should be sometime in September, but it isn’t even clear if that date was ever met with additional supply — if it was, it was too little, too late.
While the T91 did pop up for sale on Amazon and a few other sites, it quickly sold out and hasn’t been in stock since. So what’s the deal Asus, why was there such a lack of supply at the release of the T91? It really seems like they missed a good opportunity to capitalize on the anticipation of a product that people were actually looking forward to. The T91 had the distinction of being different than just another model number in the Eee line-up. Search popularity was well in line with a model that Asus is still selling plenty of, as seen by the following Google Trends chart in which ‘Eee T91’ search term is represented by blue, and ‘Eee 1008HA’ in red:Demand was there, but we don’t really have any explanation for the lack of supply. Much of what I’m seeing could be mostly from a US perspective, but I believe that the missing T91 is a world-wide phenomenon (correct me if I’m wrong). I’ve dispatched some questions to Asus to see if we can officially get to the bottom of this, and I’ll let everyone know as soon as I get any word back.