updated 03:45 pm EDT, Fri May 7, 2010
Analysts see 26pc jump in netbook sales
Netbook sales are still expected to grow even in the face of the iPad possibly stealing business, a new study by iSuppli said today. Growth will have slowed from the breakneck pace of last year but should still see the mini notebooks grow by 25.5 percent to 209.5 million PCs. The prediction came that the gradual end to the worldwide economic slump wouldn't necessarily end sales of netbooks at the same time.
Full-size notebooks are still expected to grow and could top 160.5 million systems in 2010, but the category would be growing slower, at just 21.5 percent. The "ultra-thin notebook" field, which sits between netbooks and notebooks and usually runs Intel CULV processors, is set to become the fastest-growing category and could almost double its shipments. At just 14.5 million PCs, however, it would still have a small effect.
Acer was the leader in netbooks last year as the Aspire One had 37 percent and knocked ASUS down to 21 percent. HP, Samsung and Dell followed behind. Combined, the top five controlled 90 percent of the field, leaving even major companies like Lenovo and Toshiba with just a slim portion of the industry. Acer had the ultra-thin market almost entirely to itself in 2009 and only had to cede a small piece of the field to HP, Dell, Sony and Toshiba.
The iSuppli study doesn't appear to have factored in tablets, which in Morgan Stanley's latest research appears to be flattening netbook sales as many opt for the iPad in place of a high-end netbook or a low-end notebook.