New York — Two research firms are projecting the netbook computer category will give a boost to LCD-panel makers in 2009.
DisplaySearch and iSuppli both see the netbook market almost doubling in size, thus increasing the demand for LCDs. However, this will not be enough to offset the overall drop in LCD panels industrywide that is expected to take place in 2009, said DisplaySearch. It expects LCD display solutions, used in all types of products, to fall to 156 million in 2009, from 167 million in 2008.
Counterbalancing this drop will be the increased number of netbooks and all-in-one (AIO) PCs shipped in the coming years.
iSuppli is calling for the number of netbooks shipped worldwide to almost double in 2009, to 24.4 million from 13 million. Each of these will be equipped with an LCD ranging in size between 8 inches and 12 inches. This figure is expected to hit 47 million by 2012.
DisplaySearch also pointed to the AIO PC market and the still-developing “nettop” category, essentially the desktop version of the nettop, as additional growth areas for the LCD panel makers.
While the AIO market has been around for more then a decade and currently comprises about 2 percent of the desktop market, DisplaySearch projected the segment to almost double in units shipped, to 6 million units in 2009 and 8.1 million by 2012.
Unlike past AIO models, the newer units, which were full-powered PCs that utilized the AIO form factor, will be based on the Intel Atom processor and optimized for Internet usage. They are expected to sell in the $400 to $500 price range.
DisplaySearch anticipates many of these AIOs could go into the enterprise markets as corporations continue to pinch pennies for the next several years. These PCs are also suitable for use in “cloud computing” environments where large amounts of local storage and processing power are not necessary, the company said.