updated 12:25 am EST, Tue January 27, 2009
Netbooks '09: huge growth
Social and technological factors have conspired to make 2009 the year of the netbook, according to analysts. ABI Research expects a "perfect storm" to form this year, leading to a market explosion in the netbook category, calling for 35 million units to ship in '09, with an estimated 139 million units shipping by 2013. The convergence of PDA functionality, the data-hub theory of smartphone technology and the mobility of ultramobile PCs find a home in netbooks at a time when low-cost, low power processors and light-weight form factors have arrived.
The smartphone industry has run its course, with the next logical step being netbooks, according to the research firm. ABI's comparison of the mobile device market, including mobile handsets, ultramobile devices, broadband-enabled electronics and cellular modems leads the firm to conclude that netbooks will enjoy "very strong market growth" in the next five years.