Further evidence for the growing popularity of netbooks and mobile computing in general has arrived with the latest sales figures from Displaysearch which has revealed that worldwide quarter-on-quarter netbook sales jumped 160% by the end the third quarter of 2008.
One of the key drivers for this growth was the fact that all of the main PC makers entered the market during this time period.
Another may be the fact that mobile telecoms companies are increasingly using netbooks as an excellent lure to get people to sign up for mobile broadband packages, in some cases ‘giving away’ netbooks as part of two-year mobile broadband deals.
Now there’s always a little bit of caveat emptor to such deals and it’s worth noting that a two-year contract for a £30 per month mobile broadband USB modem amounts to a total expenditure of £720.
But if you do consider it, this can be quiet a good deal. Vodafone is offering for £25 per month (for up to 1 Gbyte of data) a USB mobile broadband package that includes a rather reasonable Dell Inspiron Mini 9 which usually retails from around £270. That makes the broadband package effectively cost only £13.75 per month.
Not a bad consideration, especially for SMEs wanting to mobilise cheaply their businesses.
Netbooks are battling head on smartphones but the devices are more than holding their own even here.
Displaysearch estimates that over 5.6 million netbooks were sold in the USA alone during Q3 this year the same period, yet in the same period, according to research from Gartner, worldwide iPhone sales were at the 4.7 million mark. Overall smartphone sales grew at their slowest rate yet, with year-on-year sales increasing 11.5%.
If this trend continues for Q4 08, smartphone vendors should start getting worried