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Netbook Growth Continues

5/13/2009 11:12:00 AM Eastern

Austin, Texas — DisplaySearch data indicates the netbook market increased its worldwide penetration of the notebook market in the first quarter by 20 percent, with Acer leading the way.

DisplaySearch estimated that 5.9 million nebooks were shipped worldwide in the first quarter, with an additional 24.4 million notebooks leaving factories.

However, both product categories suffered a severe fall-off in shipments when compared with the fourth quarter of 2008. Netbook shipments fell to 5.9 million from 8 million, while notebooks dropped to 32.2 million from 24.4 million.

Notebooks declined by 19 percent year over year in the first quarter.

DisplaySearch found netbook penetration the highest in the EMEA region with about 45 percent of all netbooks shipping there, compared to just 26 percent in North America. The gap was much closer in the notebook category with the EMEA getting 38 percent of all shipments and North America 30 percent.

Telecom subsidies may be one reason the netbooks are an attractive option in EMEA, DisplaySearc said. Starting last year some telecoms began offering discounted netbooks with the purchase of a two-year data plan. Similar promotional efforts have not yet taken off in North America.

Overall, DisplaySearch said Acer was the leading netbook shipper in the first quarter, with 1.8 million units shipped. Asus was second with 900,000, followed by Hewlett-Packard, 700,000, and Dell, 400,000. Toshiba and Lenovo rounded out the top five, with each shipping 200,000.