Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Netbooks To Comprise 20% Of Notebooks Shipped

Netbooks, which are expected to reach nearly triple-digit growth this year, will account for one in five notebooks shipped globally, while shipments of traditional laptops will be flat, a market research firm said Tuesday.

Manufacturers will ship 32.7 million netbooks this year, an increase of 99.1% from last year, DisplaySearch said. Shipments of traditional notebooks will reach 129.5 million units, which is one-tenth of a percent less than the 129.6 million units shipped last year.

Because of the popularity of netbooks, notebook shipments overall will rise by 11.1% over last year, the market researcher said.

Netbooks, which are mini-notebooks that sell for less than $500, have been most popular in the emerging market of Latin America and in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. The latter EMEA region is expected to account for 40% of all netbook shipments this year, which is 5% less than in 2008, but well in excess of the region's total share of the notebook market.

Netbooks will continue to be a significant proportion of the market beyond this year, DisplaySearch said. However, the screen sizes of the devices are increasing, rising from seven inches when netbooks were first introduced in 2007 to as much as 12 inches today.

"It is clear that buyers want a lightweight device, but that they also want a bigger display," John F. Jacobs, director of notebook research at DisplaySearch, said in a statement. "While these devices have certainly created a new market, our research indicates that they are predominantly used as secondary PCs by consumers, and are not replacing notebooks."

A major reason for slump in the notebook market has been weak sales among businesses, which have cut back IT spending in the economic recession. However, the release of Windows 7 by Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) in late October this year, if combined with economic recovery, could lead to a "rapid recovery" in the business market in 2010, DisplaySearch said.

Meanwhile, market researcher iSuppli said Tuesday that PC shipments, including notebooks, desktops, and entry-level servers, would fall this year for the first time since the dot-com bust in 2001, when shipments fell 5.1% year-to-year.

PC shipments this year are expected to drop to 287.3 million units, down 4% from 299.2 million units in 2008, iSuppli said. The research firm had previously predicted a 0.7% increase in shipments for 2009.

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