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Death of netbook exaggerated, says researcher

Down, but not out

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Don't write off the netbook just yet, market watcher IDC has advised.

Yes, the gadget has taken a blow from tablets like the Apple iPad and Samsung Galaxy Tab, but it's not a mortal one.

Growth will continue, the researcher reckons, but at a "somewhat slower pace". So, it says, some 38.7m netbooks will ship this year - 10.3 per cent more than in 2009. But the compound growth rate over the next four years will slow to 4.3 per cent, taking 2014's netbook shipments total to just 42.4m units.

That compares with the most bullish netbook shipments forecast we've seen, 43m units in 2010, from ABI Research. That said, even than forecast was a big reduction from the full-year shipments estimate of 58m units ABI made back in May.

Market watcher ChangeWave last week charted the decline in consumer demand for netbooks over the last 18 months or so.

IDC said education still shows a keeness on netbooks absent from the consumer market, and while tablets may tickle Western tastes, they will play less well in the much more price-sensitive developing world

Acer and Asus shipped the lion's share of netbooks this year, followed by HP, Samsung and Dell, in that order. ®

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