Feeds

Netbook sales set to soar - or not

Reading the tiny tea leaves

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Netbook sales will continue to be strong for the foreseeable future - the only question is how strong.

Between 25 and 30 million of the little fellows will be sold this year, but according to a report Monday by the Taiwanese tech-news site DigiTimes, "some netbook players" are forecasting that 2010 will remain flat, with a like number being sold next year.

However, DigiTimes also notes that the president of Compal Electronics, Ray Chen, is more bullish about netbooks, predicting that their sales may hit 35 million in 2010.

Seeing as how Compal makes netbooks for such heavyweights as HP and Acer, we believe he may have some inside information about his customers' projections.

Today's prognostications come a few days after last Thursday's report by the researchers and analysts at Canalys, which might be best summarized by one quote: "The impact of netbooks has been profound."

According to Canalys, over 13.5 million netbooks were sold during the Meltdown-depressed first half of this year - a figure that makes the prediction of 25 to 30 million to be sold throuhout the year seem more than doable, especially considering the traditionally strong back-to-school and holiday seasons for consumer devices.

Prime suspects

And consumers are the prime market for netbooks. As The Reg noted two weeks back, a recent study by Spiceworks of planned SMB purchasses found that although 55 per cent of those surveyed planned to purchase laptops in the next 18 months, only 13 per cent planned netbook purchases.

But clearly, someone is snapping up netbooks. As DisplaySearch recently reported, netbook sales were a mere 5.6 per cent of the portable-computer market in the second quarter of 2008, but grew to 22.2 per cent in the same quarter this year.

Except that DisplaySearch calls them "mini-note PCs". And Microsoft has renamed them "low cost small notebook PCs" - despite our help in sorting out the telltale markings of a netbook.

But we digress...

The Canalys report is clear on what's driving netbook adoption worldwide: "The biggest change of all has been the success the telcos have had in selling subsidised 3G netbooks, emulating the mobile phone business model."

More than 50 telcos have begun subsidizing netbooks, according to Canalys, with HP leading the way in deals and Samsung "rising quickly." In the US, both number-one wireless provider Verizon and its number-two competition AT&T have inked netbook-subidizing deals, and subsidization partnerships are spreading throughout Europe and Asia, notably in Korea, China, and Japan.

Netbooks are clearly here to say. As to doubts about viability of the netbook market, Intel's PC Client Group boss, Mooly Eden, recently said at a company technology forum: "When people asked this question a year ago, it was fair. Nobody knew. But to keep asking now with more than 25 million [sold] - you can do the analysis, you can check in the market, there are answers."

And the answer is "Yes." The only question is how high and how fast their success will increase. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Don't wait for that big iPad, order a NEXUS 9 instead, industry little bird says
Google said to debut next big slab, Android L ahead of Apple event
Xperia Z3: Crikey, Sony – ANOTHER flagship phondleslab?
The Fourth Amendment... and it IS better
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
A drone of one's own: Reg buyers' guide for UAV fanciers
Hardware: Check. Software: Huh? Licence: Licence...?
The Apple launch AS IT HAPPENED: Totally SERIOUS coverage, not for haters
Fandroids, Windows Phone fringe-oids – you wouldn't understand
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
Here's your chance to buy an ancient, working APPLE ONE
Warning: Likely to cost a lot even for a Mac
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.