Netbook platform down but not out, claims IDC


Netbook platform down but not out, claims IDC

Microscope contributor

Reports of the netbook platforms' death have been greatly exaggerated according to IDC but the boom in sales that fuelled PC market growth has waned.

The weight of expectation has now been placed firmly at the doorstep of Apple and other pretenders to the iPad's crown as media tablets continue to capture the attention of consumers and businesses.

"IDC does not expect media tablets to bring about the death of mini notebooks, although there's no question that the focus of attention has shifted to these newer devices," said Bob O'Donnell, IDC programme VP for clients and displays.

"Given the range of capabilities and price points, it is very likely that consumers will acquire these new devices (netbooks and media tablets) in various combinations, simply delaying the purchase of a new notebook," he added.

The impact of media tablets on netbooks is expected to become more pronounced however, with IDC forecasting worldwide mini-notebook shipments to rise 10.3% this year to 37.8 million units and 4.3% CAGR over the next four years to 42.4m units.

This will be largely driven by the emerging markets as governments buy up netbooks as part of large educational initiatives but in the US single digit growth is anticipated and sales are expected to decline 11% from 2009 to 2014 in Western Europe.

Netbook sales slid dramatically in the UK last quarter, down 43% on Q3 2009 while Lenovo - a bit part player in the space - also predicted an end to the phenomenon.

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