Standard netbooks are set to remain periphery to the business channel according to Acer’s senior corporate vice president Walter Deppeler.
However IDC reckons that the emerging ultra low voltage portable segment that hardware vendors and Intel are currently aiming at consumers will actually resonate more with businesses in the medium term.
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“Currently the role of the netbook in the business channel is not that big,” Deppeler told MicroScope, adding that he expected smart handhelds to continue rising in the reseller community but not the mini notebook.
“In a lot of cases it has to do with that fact that businesses need more power to run applications and create content,” he said.
In the third quarter, IDC data revealed 93% of netbooks were sold to consumers, around 3% found a home in the education sector and 4% went to SMEs.
“We do not see any traction in mid-sized businesses or large enterprises,” said Eszter Morvay, research manager at IDC.
She expected little change in the market dynamics as netbooks had found a “value proposition and price point” that appealed to consumers but IDC forecast greater interest among businesses than consumers for the ultra portable category.
“I disagree [with vendors] that it is a consumer product. The first consumer ultra low voltage (CULV) was launched earlier this year and they are not selling,” she said.
The first version was single core but the dual core version was due out and Morvay said there was some expectation that this would improve adoption, however the £400 to £500 pricing would appeal to businesses.
“Consumer will not want to pay a premium for [CULV] to get a slightly bigger screen and some more power, and netbooks are not feature rich enough for businesses but CULV is more competitively priced than ultra portables,” she said.
Figures released from Context research yesterday indicated that across Europe netbook volumes sold through distribution had continued to grow, with expectations of a strong finish to the year.