This year has been deemed as the year of the mini notebook, according to analyst firm, Gartner.
In Australia, shipments of these small devices, also called netbooks, are expected to grow 40.8 per cent this year, making up 13.7 per cent of all notebook shipments. Across Asia-Pacific, shipment figures are expected to reach four million units this year, growing at a rate of 82 per cent year-on-year.
The analyst firm predicts the netbook market will hold an 11.8 per cent share of the notebook space by 2011.
Gartner principal research analyst, Lillian Tay, said netbooks would be the biggest growth areas because of the price point and small form factor.
“In times of an economic downturn, people are looking at ways to actually minimise their expenditure, but they still need to buy something to either replace or to use, and the netbook has attracted their buying decisions,” she said.
Tay highlighted other key factors such as the NSW Government’s digital education plan to have one netbook per child in years 9-12, as well as the growing rate of telco’s bundling netbooks with monthly plans, similar to the way they offer mobile phones.
“If you want to have your Internet and email on the go, as you would have done on your smartphone, then this mini notebook is an alternative to that. It’s more of a companion or secondary device,” Tay said.
The consumer market still continues to drive the netbook space with some traction taking place in the business sector.
“It’s not deployed for enterprise use and it’s not something that’s going to take over the enterprise notebook just yet,” she said.
Along with the shrinking cost of mobile broadband and the roll out of 3G services, another factor that will attribute to the rise of the netbook will be the release of Windows 7, which Microsoft has claimed would work on any PC platform, Tay said.