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Netbook shipments slump in face of tablet rise

Bullish forecasts reversed

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Tablets outshipped netbooks in Q2 2011.

So says market watcher ABI Research, which recorded shipments of 7.3m netbooks in Q2 - down 13.1 per cent on Q1's 8.4m units - and 13.6m tablets.

ABI said it reckons some 32m netbooks will ship in 2011 as a whole - 16.m of during H2.

That is down 17.5 per cent on 2010's total shipments, which totalled 38.8m units, ABI consumer research chief Jeff Orr told Reg Hardware today.

As late as October 2010, ABI was forecasting 2010 netbook shipments would reach 43m units. Earlier in the year, the market watcher was bullishly claiming the annual shipment total would be 58m.

That's not entirely the result of tablets, of course. Apple sold 14.8m iPads, but not all iPads buyers would have opted for netbooks had the tablet not gone on sale.

Netbook shipments in 2010 rose around ten per cent over 2009's total, but will fall this year. Orr said he's currently working on the basis that netbook shipments will fall year on year from 2011 through 2016 by compact annual growth rate of minus six per cent.

That would explain Intel's seeming reticence to ship its latest Atom CPUs, expected at the end of September but still MIA.

Intel's Atom processor and chipset business revenues dropped 32 per cent on year to only $269m in Q3 2011. Almost all of the Atoms Intel sells go into netbooks. ®

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