According to Apple, the netbook market is not a market they want to partake in, because they believe the current crop of netbooks is not good enough. Well, good enough or not, netbook sales are still growing like crazy, according to the latest figures from DisplaySearch.
Netbook Market Keeps on Growing
In their Quarterly Notebook PC Shipment and Forecast Report, DisplaySearch states that the notebook market posted strong quarter-over-quarter and year-over-year growth figures. Especially the netbook portion of the market did well, showing 40% quarter-over-quarter growth from Q1 2009 to Q2 2009. Netbooks are doing especially well in Latin America, China, and Asia-Pacific. Regular notebook shipments grew 22% quarter-over-quarter.
Consequently, netbooks are increasingly chipping away at regular notebooks:
An impotant growth propellant for netbooks are the telecom providers who subsidise netbooks in Europe and the United States, while some of them even offer them as gifts to people who sign contracts with them. Netbooks are then used as an incentive to attract new customers.
Whether manufacturers like it or not, these cheap netbooks are obviously here to stay. Of course, the only manufacturer currently not indulging in the netbook trend is Apple, mostly because netbooks aren’t high-margin products. There are a gazillion rumours out there about a possible Apple tablet which is supposed to compete with netbooks, but I have my doubts if a keyboard-less over-sized iPod Touch tied to the App Store is a viable alternative to a proper netbook; which does not mean such a tablet would not be a success – just that I don’t see it competing with netbooks.