Notebook boom to end in 2009 warns IDC

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Notebook boom to end in 2009 warns IDC

Paul Kunert

The seemingly unending boom in notebook shipments could become the latest casualty of the recession according to IDC, and only low cost netbooks will help to drive single digit growth in units this year.

Desktop sales are still predicted to decline 18% in 2009 but notebook shipments are forecast to climb modestly at 7.5% - compared to 40% last year.

However, take netbooks out of the equation and IDC expects the portable segment to fall 5% - around two million mini notebooks could be shipped this year in the UK, double the 2008 milestone.

"Spending will slow in the business and the consumer space," said Ezster Morvay, research manager at IDC, who believes that lower costs netbooks will have an obvious impact on the value of the market.

Average sales prices (ASPs) are touted to fall 17% this year when calculated in Euros and revenues from desktop and notebook revenues are forecast to go down 24% and 14% respectively.

"Desktop value erosion will be driven by declines in unit shipments, in portable PCs, the mini notebook segment will double so naturally that will lower overall ASPs," said Morvay.

Manufacturer Acer is however more bullish about the market's prospects for unit growth, with notebook renewals, netbooks and smaller form factor desktops all helping to drive shipments said Bobby Watkins, UK country manager at the firm.

"I am not convinced at least in the consumer space that desktop will decline, there will be a proliferation of small form factor desktops toward the second half of the year," he said, adding notebook renewals could not be delayed and the market had not yet seen the sales potential of netbooks, particularly in the telco channel.

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