* Sony to launch its first netbook PC in August
* Playing catch-up with Acer, Asustek, others
* Shares close down 2.3 pct vs 1.2 pct fall in sector index
(Adds closing share price, Sony comment, background)
TOKYO, July 7 Sony Corp (6758.T) said on Tuesday
it plans to launch a new Vaio laptop that will sell for around
60,000 yen ($629) in Japan in August, making an entry into the
fast-growing netbook market.
Netbook PCs are smaller and cheaper than traditional notebook
computers and optimised for simpler computing tasks such as Web
browsing and email.
Pioneered by Taiwan's Asustek (2357.TW) in 2007, other global
brands such as Acer Inc (2353.TW), Hewlett-Packard Co (HPQ.N) and
Dell Inc DELL.O have pushed out their own lines since then.
Sony, the last major PC maker to enter the netbook segment,
hopes the new product's design and high-resolution display will
help the consumer electronics giant establish a presence in the
market, a company spokeswoman said.
The new Sony machine, equipped with Microsoft Corp's (MSFT.O)
Windows XP operating system and Intel Corp's (INTC.O) Atom
processor, will have an LCD display with a resolution of
1,366-by-768 pixels, compared with the 1,024-by-600-pixel
displays that are widely used in other netbooks.
Sony declined to unveil its sales target for the new netbook
model, but the company aims to boost its overall Vaio PC sales to
6.2 million units in the year to March 2010 from 5.8 million
units a year earlier.
Global netbook PC shipments in 2009 are likely to more than
double from a year earlier to 26.4 million units, according to
research firm IDC.
Sony shares closed down 2.3 percent at 2,355 yen,
underperforming the Tokyo stock market's electrical machinery
index .IELEC.T, which fell 1.2 percent.
(Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka; Editing by Chris Gallagher)