Netbook Sales Outpacing Sales of Traditional Notebook Computers

Netbook sales are taking off, according to a new report from DisplaySearch. The report indicates that netbook revenues were up 37 percent over the same quarter last year and up 264 percent for the year. Revenues from larger notebook PCs were down. But portable notebooks with screens 13" to 16" showed growth as well.

The mini-note category, which includes netbooks, now represents 22.2 percent of the portable PC shipments and 11.7 percent of revenues. The growth in netbooks, said DisplaySearch, is owing to the low prices, which make them especially suitable as a second PC and attractive to first-time buyers.

Telecom providers are jumping in too, hoping to boost revenues by offering subsidized mini-notes when the customer signs a two-year data plan contract. In North America, the devices are also being offered as enhancements by cable TV providers to entice customers to sign up for a package of their services.

"Mini-notes have been a significant contributor to volume growth in the portable PC market as their very attractive price points make owning a secondary computer viable for many consumers. However, the lower ASPs of these devices are clearly having a negative impact on portable PC market revenue," said John F. Jacobs, Director of Notebook Market Research. "For 2009, we expect continued ASP erosion across all portable computer categories, leading to the first Y/Y decline of portable computer revenue."

DisplaySearch said it expects these revenue and shipment trends to continue into 2010, with mini-notes accounting for 21.5 percent of shipment volume but just 10.9 percent of total revenue for the portable computer market in 2010.

About the Author

Denise Harrison is a freelance writer and editor specializing in technology, specifically in audiovisual and presentation. She also works as a consultant for Second Life projects and is involved with nonprofits and education within the 3D realm. She can be reached here.

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