Netbook Sales Surging In 2009, Notebooks Flat

Tomato, to-mah-to. Netbook, Mini-Note. Despite the fact that DisplaySearch refers to the well-known netbook as a Mini-Note, we still catch the research outfit's drift: shipments of these mini notebooks are expected to surge this year.

With the economy forcing consumers to take a closer look at just how much they spend on their next mobile PC, and with emerging markets looking to finally secure notebooks they can afford, the netbook sector is expected to boom throughout the rest of this year. In fact, DisplaySearch figures that netbook shipments will hit 33 million in 2009 and its overall penetration into the netbook PC market to hit 20% worldwide.

It's kind of hard to fathom that netbooks were but a figment of someone's imagination just a few years back, and soon one out of every five notebooks sold globally will be one. To that end, shipments of "traditional notebooks," which have a screen of 12.1" or more, are expected to remain flat year-over-year for the first time. As we alluded to earlier, shipments of netbooks in developing markets--namely Latin America and some sections of Europe, the Middle East, and Africa--are expected to take in the most netbooks, with the lowest penetration rates in Asia-Pacific, North America and China.

Additionally, the subsidization of netbooks by some mobile carriers (Sprint, AT&T and Verizon Wireless to name a few) has encouraged the uptake of these machines by consumers who would otherwise pass. John F. Jacobs, Director of Notebook Market Research, closed out the report with this:

"Mini-notes are forecast to continue to be a significant portion of the market. However, as display sizes of these devices have quickly moved from 7.0” to 8.9” to 10.1”, and now with the emergence of 11.6” and 12.0” mini-note products, it is clear that buyers want a light-weight device, but that they also want a bigger display."