2009 Netbook Shipments to Double 2008 Numbers, Says Report

Netbook shipments for 2009 are expected to be double those of 2008, according to a new report. Going forward, however, netbook shipments are expected to slow while competition increases, thanks, in part, to Apple and Nokia.

Netbook shipments in 2009 are expected to fully double over 2008 shipment numbers, according to a Nov. 26 report from research firm Research and Markets.
Going forward, however, the firm anticipates that netbook PC growth momentum will slow. Additionally, as the prices of netbooks continue to fall, "netbook PC makers' profit margins are expected to be affected," states the report.
The findings echo those of Gartner, which in a Nov. 23 report stated that while overall PC shipments rose in the fourth quarter-thanks to demand for mobile PCs-market value fell, due to an unprecedented decline in PC average selling prices.
Research and Markets pointed to the pursuit of new opportunities as necessary routes toward continued growth.
"In order to expand netbook PC market coverage, other than increasing product differentiation to stimulate demand in the existing mature consumer markets," states the report, "PC companies also aim to seek new market opportunities in the education, commercial and emerging market segments, as well as new distribution channels and new offerings."
PC maker Dell, for example, has shown itself to be on this path, with the introduction this year of PCs geared toward specific enterprise verticals. The Latitude XT2 XFR is a rugged convertible tablet for military, field service, factory-fulfillment and other physically demanding environments, while Dell's Latitude 2100 netbook is geared toward student users in K-12 classrooms.
The Research and Markets study added, "The entrance of new competitors such as Nokia and Apple is expected to intensify competition."
On Oct. 13, Nokia introduced the Booklet 3G, the first true PC for the phone maker, which is slated to arrive in time for the holidays.
Apple is said to have a tablet PC in the works, though it has yet to confirm this. The rumor was given new legs in October, when an editor at The New York Times casually mentioned an "Apple slate" during a talk at TheTimesCenter.
The Gartner report likewise concluded that netbook growth is expected to slow going forward, as netbooks face increased competition from other low-cost PCs, as well as other form factors.