$100 netbook a reality in three years

Resellers wondering how low notebook prices can go have been given the answer by Gartner after the analyst claimed the first $100 (£50) device is on its way, but will not arrive for another two to three years.

Resellers wondering how low notebook prices can go have been given the answer by Gartner after the analyst claimed the first $100 (£50) device is on its way, but will not arrive for another two to three years.

All current versions of netbooks or mobile Internet devices as they are also referred to are at least £200 and are "unlikely" to fall dramatically till at least 2010 said the market watcher.

"The economic benefits of IT literacy in emerging markets are currently driving the push for the $100 PC but there are many open questions that remain," said Annette Jump, Gartner research director.

Component prices could conceivably fall 10 to 15 per cent in the next two to three years but other costs including packaging, assembly and software would probably remain fairly constant, she added.

Demand for the Eee PC from ASUS and now a range of devices from other tier one vendors including Acer and Hewlett-Packard is spreading like wild fire and this is expected to build.

"We expect to see increased product innovation in the PC market during the next few years," said Jump, "mini notebooks will create opportunities to reach many buyers across all regions."

iSuppli has forecast netbook shipments to soar to 18.3 million units by 2012, representing compound annual growth rates of 161 per cent. Revenue in the same period is expected to grow 143 per cent yearly to $291.2m by 2012.

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