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Netbooks grow twice as fast as notebooks in Q2 09

Posted: 09 Sep 2009 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:notebook? netbook? portable PC market?

The notebook market soared past the 38 million mark, according to DisplaySearch's latest Quarterly Notebook PC Shipment and Forecast Report. Netbooks were particularly strong, growing 40 percent q-on-q, two times more than notebooks which grew 22 percent q-on-q. This strong growth drove netbooks to own 22.2 percent of the portable computer market in Q2 09, as shown in Table 1. Asus, the pioneer in netbooks, has steadily lost share because tier 1 brands like Acer, HP, Dell, Lenovo and Toshiba have become increasingly aggressive in this segment.

Netbook penetration in Latin America and Greater China is higher than notebook PC penetration, as shown in Table 2. The low prices of netbooks make these products more affordable for these emerging markets, and these regions have many first-time PC buyers, who are less likely to require all the bells and whistles available on a larger mainstream notebook PC.

In many regions, telecom providers have been offering subsidized netbooks for several quarters, which helped propel growth. In Western European countries, a number of telecoms are subsidizing 100 percent of the price of the netbook when the customer signs a two-year data plan contract. In North America, telecom providers are aggressively marketing netbooks with a two-year data plan contract, while some cable providers are offering heavily discounted mini-notes as an incentive to sign a contract for cable TV, internet and phone service. The incentives have been quite successful in Europe. In North America, these promotions were only test marketed in Q2 09, so there is insufficient data to determine if they will achieve the same measure of success.

Netbooks have been a significant contributor to the growth in the portable PC market as their very attractive price points make owning a secondary computer viable for many consumers.

"Mini-note (netbook) PC screen sizes have increased steadily, from 7-inch to 8.9-inch and then to 10.2-inch. Some panel makers and brands are promoting 11.6-inch mini-note displays, leading to an overlap with ultraportable notebooks. However, the higher prices of these larger netbooks diminish their cost advantage. In addition to many other key players in the supply chain, Microsoft indicated it is their desire to increase the ASP of mini-notes. A significant increase to the ASP of mini-notes may deter consumers that are predominantly using mini-notes as secondary PCs," said John F. Jacobs, director of notebook market research.

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