Cannibalized by thin'n'lights
According to DisplaySearch's quarterly notebook shipment report, netbook sales in 2010 will drop by a rather significant margin.
Total netbook shipments in 2009 are estimated at 33.3 million units,
more than double than in 2008. However, DisplaySearch beancounters
expect growth to slow to less than 20 percent annually in 2010. The
main culprit for the drop in demand is another Intel platform, CULV.
The netbook fad isn't over yet, but the advent of cheap, sub-$500 thin
and light notebooks based on Intel's CULV or AMD's Neo chips is taking
its toll on demand. Several vendors have started offering affordable
11.6- or 12.1-inch CULVs, which offer faster CPUs and higher resolution
screens than netbooks at a negligible premium. Take the Lenovo U350 for
example. The cheapest SKU in Europe sells for just €329, which is truly
stunning value for a compact 13-incher powered by a Celeron 723.
The overall portable computer market was one of the bright spots in
recession stricken 2009. Total shipments jumped 16 percent
year-on-year, but revenues declined by 12 percent due to lower prices
in all product categories. Things are expected to improve in 2010 with
more growth and higher revenues, although netbook growth is expected to
slip from 103 percent to just 19 percent.