This rumor comes from two different sources; the 4G wireless part is apparently from a preview site from Asus themselves and suggests that a new version of the Eee will have WiMAX. The other part comes from some sources that tipped off a Taiwanese paper that Asus was already manufacturing Eee’s with 8.9-inch screens instead of the 7-inch screens that are currently included.
On the WiMAX side, Google and Sprint do have a partnership going on for the release of their Xohm WiMAX network, although I didn’t realize the launch date for that network was this spring, it is a reasonable launch date since they started on the network earlier this year. Oh, since I didn’t mention it, the rumor is that the new WiMAX enabled Eee would launch stateside in conjunction with the Xohm network, and would probably launch before that in other areas where they already have WiMAX.
On the 8.9” LCD format, the word is that the panels only cost $15-20 more and likely wouldn’t affect the overall cost of the device much, but changing up the case and the motherboard and all those other components to fit the larger screen would likely cost more, and that kind of differentiation in your products would likely require separate production lines, so I wouldn’t add much weight to this rumor. But, we could see the unveiling of a new Eee with one or both of these new features at CES next week.
ASUS giving next Eee PC WiMAX wireless, 8.9-inch LCD? [via electronista]