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Netbooks took a fifth of mobile PC biz in Q2

Big demand in US, Europe

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Netbooks increased their share of the overall notebook computer market during Q2, accounting for 22.2 per cent of shipments of mobile PCs during the quarter.

So says marker watcher DisplaySearch, which added that that figure was up from 17.8 per cent in Q1 and from 5.6 per cent in the Q2 2008.

Given the frequency with which netbooks are touted as a way of getting the populations of developing countries onto the internet, by far the majority of netbooks that shipped during Q2 ended up in the West.

North America took 26.6 per cent of the netbooks shipped during the period, while Europe, the Middle East and Africa - three very different markets yet still, bizarrely, counted as one - took 32.9 per cent of netbook manufacturers' output.

By contrast, Japan, a nation noted for its fascination with miniature computers, took just six per cent. Latin America accounted for 6.7 per cent, Asia Pacific 9.2 per cent and Greater China 18.6 per cent.

Even allowing for relative population sizes, those numbers show a distinct bias for developed markets, we think.

DisplaySearch noted that, in Europe in particular, a lot of these machines are being sold by telcos, who subsidise the cost of the hardware out of the proceeds of selling two-year data airtime contracts. This is now happening in the US and Canada, the researcher said, but noted that it's too early to tell whether such schemes are successful there. ®

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