Santa Clara, Calif. – The age of the netbook could be coming to a
close as iPads and slate-type portable devices start to push the netbook onto
the back burner.
According to John Jacobs, DisplaySearch’s notebook market
research director, the advent of the iPad and the upcoming rollout of slates by
other vendors likely means sales of clamshell-designed netbooks will start to
The research company noted that during the first quarter, Apple
shipped 700,000 iPads, comprising about 6.5 percent of the 10.15 million units
shipped in the netbook/slate notebook sub-category. In addition, Apple has
reported shipping 2 million iPads during just the first two months of the
second quarter, which DisplaySearch is estimating will give Apple about 30
percent of the market for that period.
As additional non-Apple slates are rolled out later this year,
the traditional clamshell netbook could continue to lose share, DisplaySearch
said. Helping the new slates gain traction will be the fact that they will likely follow the iPads development
process, Jacobs said.
“Apple has ported their successful iPhone app business model to
the iPad. Android-based phones followed in their footsteps and will surely do
the same with slates,” he said.
Overall, the notebook category posted its highest revenue amount
in two years.
Despite continuing falling prices for notebook computers, dollar
revenue hit a two-year high during the first quarter, according to
The research company reported that the notebook market hit $31.1
billion during the first quarter 2010 worldwide. This is the highest total
posted since the first quarter of 2008. Making this gain more impressive is
average selling prices for these products were 20 percent higher in 2008, said
The mini-note/netbook/slate was the biggest gainer among the four
notebook categories tracked by DisplaySearch. First-quarter sales were up 56.4
percent to $3.54 billion. DisplaySearch credited the increase to newer units
having better processors and more features, thus pushing up the average selling
The general notebook category continued to perform very well,
generating $23.1 billion in sales during the quarter, a 30.7 percent increase,
while the desktop replacement subset grew even faster. Its sales were up 37.8
percent to $2.93 billion.
The only segment to endure a drop was ultra-portables. These
declined 4.3 percent to $1.8 billion. Jacobs said the ultra-portables are
suffering because they are still primary an enterprise niche product.