updated 09:30 am EDT, Tue May 25, 2010
Gartner says netbooks still helping notebook spike
Notebook shipments surged a massive 43 percent in the first three months of 2010, Gartner found today. About 49.4 million portables shipped and were lead by HP, which pushed almost 9.5 million notebooks and held 19.2 percent of the market. Acer and ASUS profited from their experiences in netbooks and were the fastest growers at 48.4 percent year-over-year (to 9.1 million) and 113 percent (to 4.3 million) respectively.
Dell and Toshiba occupied third and fourth places with 5.7 million and 4.6 million PCs delivered in the quarter.
Analysts cautioned that the growth of netbooks has slowed significantly; it still saw shipments jump 71 percent compared to early 2009, but the rate was much lower than for last year and came as some areas began to turn away from netbooks, either because of the slow speeds and design limits or because full-size notebooks were less expensive.
Netbooks also helped drag down the average selling price of a notebook; while cost cuts on larger systems also played a role, the average price of a notebook has dropped from $868 at the start of 2009 to just $732 this year. Gartner predicted that the pricing would stabilize as it expected a wave of pro notebook sales later in the year to keep average pricing in check.
Gartner was hesitant to make the claim that the iPad was stealing netbook sales as it didn't consider the Apple tablet a netbook replacement. However, it said it would monitor the category and didn't count results from April, when Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty observed a steep decline in growth as the iPad went on sale in the US.