A new International Data Corporation (IDC) forecast says netbooks have been dealt a "glancing blow" by tablet devices – but despite this, the netbook category is still growing worldwide.
Although the introduction of the 'media tablet' form factor has affected global netbook sales, IDC expects the netbook (or 'mini notebook') category to continue growing. Worldwide netbook shipments are now forecast to be 37.8 million units in 2010, up 10.3% from last year. The category is then expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 4.3% for the next four years.
Bob O'Donnell, Clients and Displays program vice president at IDC, said "IDC does not expect media tablets to bring about the death of mini notebooks, although there's no question that the focus of attention has shifted to these newer devices. Given the range of capabilities and price points, it is very likely that consumers will acquire these devices in various combinations, simply delaying the purchase of a new notebook, for example, to add a media tablet or mini notebook as a companion to their main computing device. Similarly, the arrival of media tablets has done little to diminish the demand for mini notebooks in the educational market, particularly in developing countries where large government initiatives are gaining steam in the post-recession economy."
However, there are some dramatic differences around the world. While the CAGR in Latin America, Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa will be around 20% for the next five years, the market for netbooks in Western European is expected to decline by 11% from 2009 to 2014.