Netbooks accounted for 22.2 percent of notebook shipments in Q2 2009, up 4.4 percent from Q1 2009 and almost fourfold more than a year ago, according to a new report by DisplaySearch. Total notebook shipments topped 38 million in Q2 2009, with netbook unit shipments up 40 percent quarter-over-quarter, almost double as much as the 22 percent quarter-over-quarter growth rate of larger notebooks.
The press release from DisplaySearch doesn't give specifics about each vendor, but mentions ASUS has been steadily losing share to Acer, HP, Dell, Lenovo and Toshiba.
Mini-note penetration in Latin America and Greater China is higher than notebook PC penetration, as shown in Table 2. The low prices of mini-note PCs make these products more affordable for these emerging markets, and these regions have many first-time PC buyers, who are less likely to require all the bells and whistles available on a larger mainstream notebook PC.
In many regions, telecom providers have been offering subsidized mini-notes for several quarters, which helped propel growth. In Western European countries, a number of telecoms are subsidizing 100% of the price of the mini-note when the customer signs a two-year data plan contract. In North America, telecom providers are aggressively marketing mini-notes with a two-year data plan contract, while some cable providers are offering heavily discounted mini-notes as an incentive to sign a contract for cable TV, internet and phone service. The incentives have been quite successful in Europe. In North America, these promotions were only test marketed in Q2’09, so there is insufficient data to determine if they will achieve the same measure of success.
Mini-notes have been a significant contributor to the growth in the portable PC market as their very attractive price points make owning a secondary computer viable for many consumers.
“Mini-note PC screen sizes have increased steadily, from 7.0" to 8.9” and then to 10.2". Some panel makers and brands are promoting 11.6" mini-note displays, leading to an overlap with ultraportable notebooks. However, the higher prices of these larger netbooks diminish their cost advantage. In addition to many other key players in the supply chain, Microsoft indicated it is their desire to increase the ASP of mini-notes. A significant increase to the ASP of mini-notes may deter consumers that are predominantly using mini-notes as secondary PCs,” said John F. Jacobs, Director of Notebook Market Research.