Fri, Apr 03, 2009 - Page 12 News List

Netbook sales expected to grow 65 percent annually

By Lisa Wang  /  STAFF REPORTE

Sales of netbook computers, or mini-notebooks, are expected to grow 65 percent annually to 27 million units this year as consumers adjust their discretionary spending and purchase netbooks as lower-priced alternatives to notebook PCs in response to the economic recession, market researcher DisplaySearch said yesterday.

The strong growth in netbooks will buoy overall notebook computer sales this year, the Austin, Texas-based research house said in its latest report. Sales of traditional notebook computers may increase 3 percent year-on-year to 133 million units, the report said.

The factors “which helped propel the mini-note market initially — low average selling prices and basic functionality — remain the key forces propelling growth,” DisplaySearch said.

In the longer term, netbooks would continue to be a driving force, but DisplaySearch did not expect them to replace standard notebooks.

“The mini-note market is effectively segmented into two main categories — low-cost PCs for emerging markets and the education sector, and consumers and professionals seeking light-weight, ultra-mobile products that offer a modicum of PC-like functionality in a thin and light form,” John Jacobs, director of DisplaySearch’s notebook market research division, said in the report.

Sales of netbooks are expected to grow faster, at a 25.4 percent compound annual growth rate during the period to 2012, than the 10.9 percent expansion of standard notebook computers, DisplaySearch said.

But as the global economy recovers, consumers may return to typical buying habits and favor more full-featured and higher-priced notebooks, it said.

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