Asus prepping touchscreen Eee?

Asus' Eee UMPC was one of the tech success stories to come out of the second half of 2007, and there's been much speculation as to where Asus plan to take the little machine in 2008.

The company confirmed at the recent CES 2008 show that they plan to introduce 8-, and 8.9-inch models of the currently 7-inch device, but news from Taiwan suggests an even more exciting development.

DigiTimes, citing "sources at touch panel and related component makers" say that companies are currently bidding to provide the different sizes of displays for the new models.

And, as well as "normal" 8-, 9- and 10-inch panels being sampled, a touchscreen version of the 9-inch model is being considered by Asus.

The 9-inch touch panel-equipped Eee PCs will adopt "four-wire resistive touch screen technology" adding just $15 to the manufacturing cost of the new tablet-esque gadget.

DigiTimes suggests that Asus shipped between 300,000 and 400,000 Eee PCs in its first quarter of sales, and impressively the prediction for 2008 is a total of 4-5 million units, although we'd guess this could increase with an Eee touch.