Austin, Texas - Led by Apple's iPad, the netbook/slate category will drive portable-computer sales in 2010, according to DisplaySearch.
The number of portable PCs shipped will hit 214.6 million this year, a 25.7 percent increase over 2009, on sales of $116.9 billion. This figure almost matches the dollar revenue posted in 2008 for the category. Dollar sales plummeted in 2009 to $109.8 billion.
, which started shipping on April 3, along with slate-type devices that will be delivered from other manufacturers later this year, will grab some market share from the traditional notebook segment and will garner interest from potential e-reader customers interested in a device with more computing power, DisplaySearch said. The higher-priced iPad and slate products will also strengthen average selling prices (ASPs) for the category, offsetting the sub-$300 netbook price point.
"The low ASPs of mini-notes have been a concern to component suppliers, OEMs/ODMs, brands and retailers, due to the thinner margins and lower revenue generation of the devices. Slates -- especially those that will be able to mimic Apple's content library, model of content delivery, and their very successful App Store -- will be able to generate greater revenue and healthier," said John Jacobs, DisplaySearch's notebook market research director.
DisplaySearch believes the majority of the iPad and other slates will sell into the North American and Western European markets, while entry-level priced notebooks will make further inroads into developing countries.
DisplaySearch expects unit and revenue increases for both the netbook/slate and traditional notebooks this year, with the former category shipping 28.5 percent more units than in 2009. This will generate $13.4 billion in sales, a 15.6 percent increase compared with the previous year.
Traditional notebooks will also experience extremely healthy growth this year, with unit shipments increasing 25 percent and dollar sales growing 5.3 percent, DisplaySearch reported.