CNET heard research firm IDC will release a report later this week that indicates that the netbook market may have already peaked:
The figures from market researcher IDC show a decline in Atom processor shipments as a percentage of Intel mobile processors--a sharp reversal of previous trends that had the Atom chip, quarter by quarter, taking a larger percentage of mobile chip shipments.
Intel ships most of its Atom processors to makers of Netbooks--small, highly portable laptops that are typically priced around $350. Major Netbook brands include Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Asus, Acer, and Toshiba.
"Atom in Netbooks is plateauing," Shane Rau, an analyst at IDC, said in a phone interview. "With the market recovery, I think end users are going to be looking for more value than just low-cost devices. This is an opportunity for higher-end mobile PCs, for example, that have better performance, bigger screens, bigger hard drives," he said.