The netbook market will provide a glimmer of light on what promises to be a dismal year for the PC industry as a whole, according to new research from technology analyst DisplaySearch.
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In the new report Q109 Quarterly Notebook PC Shipment and Forecast Report, netbooks will likely grow at more than 65% Y/Y in 2009, whereas what it calls the traditional notebook PC market is forecast to grow at just 3% over the same time period.
Analysing the emergence of the netbook as a viable platform for mobile computing over the last twelve months, DisplaySearch suggests that during the recession many buyers are adjusting their discretionary spending and purchasing mini-notes as lower-priced alternatives to notebook PCs.
DisplaySearch predicts that year-on-year growth of 66% in 2009 will push the netbook market to exceed 27 million units, while 3% Y/Y growth for notebook PCs will amount to a total of 133 million units.
The survey unearthed a trend for falling panel prices enabling a shift in netbook display sizes first from 7–8.9 inches and now from 8.9–10 inches whilst maintaining comparable street prices for the system.
Even though it attributes some of the growth in the netbook market to cannibalisation of entry-level notebook PCs, DisplaySearch regards the factors that propelled the netbook market initially—low average selling prices and basic functionality—as continuing to drive growth over a longer period of time.
The analyst also expects in the longer term, netbooks to be a force of change in the market. However, DisplaySearch does not see them replace larger form notebook PCs altogether, believing that consumers will return to typical buying habits after the recession crisis is over.