Many PC manufacturers will be touting tablet computers at Computex 2010, but the Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Products Group at AMD, Rick Bergman, believes that the company is in no hurry to enter this market, “AMD currently is still evaluating the tablet PC market and will wait until market demand start to appear before joining.” AMD is more optimistic towards future growth in the netbook market and currently has no plans into expanding into the smartphone nor consumer electronics markets.
Bergman also noted growing competition from Nvidia. In order to keep up with the competition, AMD will continue expanding its graphics technologies and launch new products including the ATI Radeon HD 5450, 5570, and 5670 graphics cards, which will target entry-level and mainstream consumer groups. In addition, AMD has already shipped 11 million units of DirectX 11-supporting GPUs since its launch.
Instead of entering the tablet PC, smartphone, or consumer electronics markets, AMD will also focus its efforts on its netbook-based Bobcat processor, which will be released in 2011.
36 million units of netbooks were sold in 2009, and in 2010, market research firm ABI predicts that a whopping 58 million units could potentially be sold! This increase in shipments is due to a multitude of reasons, such as the increased portability and convenience of netbooks and the impact that the downturn economy has had on people’s financial and budgeting agendas.
According to ABI Analyst, Jeff Orr, “We expect the netbook market to fragment according to different regional value propositions. Functionality will be added to mainstream netbook products while at the same time an entry-level netbook solution will grow, with the aim of targeting some large emerging markets (including China and India) where PC penetration is still quite low.”
In addition to the netbook market, ABI also foresees growth in the tablet market, currently led by Apple’s iPad. The company is predicting that 8 million tablet-style netbooks (or just plain tablets) will be shipped in 2010.
At the company’s investor meeting in Santa Clara, California this past week, Intel showed off a netbook that was equipped with the company’s very own Intel Atom dual-core processor. The webcast event also showed off a new tablet computer that would be equipped with an Intel Atom chipset.
New netbooks and tablets featuring Intel chips will be displayed at Computex 2010. According to Mooly Eden, the Vice President and General Manager of Intel’s PC Client Group, the company wants to raise the bar in netbook performance and they’re aiming to do that with the release of dual-core Atom processors. Essentially, this technology will allow users to more efficiently run multiple applications on their netbooks at the same time.
Netbooks have been around for a while, and people are no longer willing to sacrifice their relatively poor performance (at least compared to laptops) for the added portability and convenience. Eden says, “People are not willing to compromise anymore. We do not think about one thing, we think about several things at a time. We expect our computer to do the same thing.”
According to Intel’s CEO Paul Otellini, the netbook market is continuing to grow, so improving the performance of netbook technology is very important.
With the introduction of its Atom chip, Intel has been a significant player in the netbook market. Intel CEO Paul Otellini is optimistic about the future performance of this market. He see revenues and earnings from netbooks increasing from single digits this year to low double digits within the next few years.
According to Otellini, computers are in “a growth industry,” especially with the growth of the technology in emerging markets such as China, India, and Brazil. “We’re on top of a growth engine and we intend to deliver.”
What does Otellini have to say about Apple and the new iPad’s impact on netbook and notebook sales? Otellini believes that tablets and netbooks offer additional means for consumers to stay connected, “I don’t think they will take away market share from other devices.”
Really? We’ll have to see about that — only the future can tell. We’ll be sure to keep you posted on any new developments.
Before the Apple iPad was released, nobody knew what space it would compete for in the computer market. Would it replace a laptop? Would it compete as a netbook? Nobody really knew. After its April release though, it’s clear that the iPad tablet does indeed compete against, and in a significant number of cases can replace, a laptop unit.
According to March 2010 data collected by Alphawise, 44% of those buying iPad devices have decided to forgo buying a laptop as a result. Their main needs in getting a laptop were to check e-mail and to browse the web — things they can also do from an iPad.
Here’s a fancy chart showing Apple’s iPad cannabilization:
Not only has the iPad been cannibalizing laptop sales but it has also been cannibalizing netbook sales as well. The chart below shows the decline in netbook sales growth starting at the beginning of 2010. A significant amount of this decrease was rumored to be due to the upcoming release of the Apple iPad.
Now that the iPad’s out, think it’ll be able to avoid the same fate that has come of other computing products? Apple’s pretty good at innovation, so it’s very likely.
The world’s PC market is experiencing a major shift in design focus from overwhelming computing power to efficient compactness and attractiveness. Rising Internet dependence make the ability to connect with people any time and any place more useful, and the increasing numbers of mobile operators mean that this option is becoming more and more available. Improvements in technology mean that more and more components can be fitted in the same space, while affordability brings this power well within the price range of the average consumers hands.
Thanks to these four major forces, netbooks have become quite popular among both professional and academic communities, and was the only segment to register double-digit growth through significant reductions of spending by enterprises and consumer segments.
Netbooks are also subject to large amounts of innovation with continuous introduction of new features such as touch screens, in-build 3D wireless broadband and improved resolution and operating systems. As a result of all of these factors, PRWeb says the global market for netbooks will blow past 54.3 million units by 2015.
After reporting booming 3Q results, ASUStek is projecting a breakthrough in netbook shipments in 4th quarter.
The recent quarter, ending September 31, saw 1.6 million shipments for ASUS.
Laptop shipment numbers are also looking great for ASUS – between 2.2 and 2.4 million units in the upcoming quarter.
The drop was noted year-over year, continuing even as netbooks gained momentum at lower selling points. However, many are blaming those very selling points for the decline in revenue.
Figures indicate that notebook sales have declined 20% over those in the same period last year, while netbook prices have declined by 29%. This last figure, however, seems a bit dubious, considering the recent release of a horde of high-end machines.
Revenue for the portable PC market dropped by 5% over the same period.
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is quelling rumors that the release of Windows 7 will significantly increase PC sales. Though he doesn’t seem to doubt the excellence of the new OS, Ballmer says “There will be a surge of PCs but it will probably not be huge.”
Why? It’s hard to say for sure, because Ballmer isn’t telling. However, one likely explanation is that while Microsoft licenses its OSes to PC makers, it’s not tied to production decisions.
That isn’t to say that Windows 7 won’t make a tidy profit – a new OS release has been wanting for a long time. Additionally, a whole host of netbook computers are set for release around October 22. Most new PCs on the market are likely to run Windows 7 in the near future, and if that eventually includes netbooks, Windows 7 could be tremendously successful.
Though the back-to-school netbook market was weaker than forecasted, netbook demand is still healthy. Growth may slow, however, in October due to “weaker demand from end-market players.”
Numbers for specific vendors are promising, with Dell expecting 1.2-1.4 million shipments third quarter and Acer looking at 3-3.5 million Acer Aspire One shipments.
According to DisplaySearch, 2Q 2009 was lucrative for netbook industry giants, with 38 million netbook sales contributing to 22.2% of the PC market.
Demand grew 40% over the first quarter, compared to 22% growth over the same period by notebooks.
Growth wasn’t identical among all regions, however, with Latin America and China seeing the most gains. Many first-time buyers in those regions are opting for cheaper netbooks in the current tough economy.
With the market for netbooks growing ever more lucrative, Nokia is keeping a sharp eye on it. There have been various rumors about Nokia’s intentions in the netbook market, and the CEO of the company, Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, said that company is currently exploring it.
According to Kallasvuo, “The PC and the mobile will continue to come closer and merge. A lot of opportunity can be seen in this converged area. We at Nokia [are] actively looking at this converged market. … We are looking at the netbook market to see what kind of opportunity there is.”
In their recent netbook ventures, Nokia has been rumored to partner with various companies. The company has been rumored to partner with Compal Electronics and Foxconn Electronics on creating the design of a netbook. There is also a rumor that Nokia is working on an Android-based netbook that will be powered by the Google Android platform.
Recently (in June 2009), Nokia partnered with Intel. These companies are rumored to be working together on some new (unmentioned) mobile devices.
Image via HybridSnicks.
A new report by DigiTimes is putting predictions of rampant netbook growth in perspective of the current recession. A number of netbook manufacturers are failing to meet netbook sales goals in Q1 09.
Acer, for example, expected to sell a full 2 million netbooks that quarter, but reportedly failed to do so. ASUS also fell short of its goals, raking in 900,000 Eee PC sales – 100,000 fewer than it projected. MSI sold 200,000 as well.
Intel is also revealing that it sold fewer Intel Atom chips than it expected as well.
The numbers are a bit vague, and have few specific explanations, but some conclusions can still be drawn from them. Is anyone really that surprised that netbooks aren’t meeting expectations, considering the astounding growth expected by such manufacturers as Samsung or analysts like the IDC? Falling short of those kind of goals still demonstrates expansion far beyond that of other sectors of the PC industry, especially considering the current economic situation, and if manufacturers are too worried about these developments they may have lost sight of the big picture.
Intel’s recent push to enter the Chinese netbook market is looking like it’s inspiring more partnerships, but this time they’re coming from overseas.
China Mobile Ltd., a NY-listed telecom operator, announced yesterday that it’s going to team up with some PC manufacturers to make TD-SCDMA-enabled 3G netbooks. The manufacturers listed were Lenovo, Founder Technology, Tsinghua Tongfang, Haier Group, Hewlett-Packard, and Dell.
Aside from mobile broadband, nobody seems to know what other specs to anticipate from the partnership’s products. Lenovo, HP, and Dell are all already huge players in the netbook industry, and if they join forces with China Mobile the results could be spectacular.
Aside from that we’re all somewhat in the dark as to the group’s intentions, but it will be exciting to see what new netbooks are delivered along the way.
Western Digital, a market leader in 2.5-inch drives, has entered the SSD market through the $65 million purchase of solid-state manufacturer SiliconSystems. This buy-out will allow Western Digital access to the netbook market, where until now it has lacked a presence.
SiliconSystems produces SSDs in various interfaces including “SATA, EIDE, PC Card, USB, and CF, in 2.5-inch, 1.8-inch, and CF.” While Western Digital currently puts its 2.5-inch drives into notebooks, the netbook sector has seen none of its products thus far.
According to President and CEO John Coyne, all of that is about to change:
“SiliconSystems’ intellectual property and technical expertise will significantly accelerate WD’s solid-state drive development programs for the Netbook, client and enterprise markets.”
The acquisition will make SiliconSystems into the new WD Solid-State business unit, ripe and ready for action in the netbook category.
ViewSonic is small company, quietly taking in a minuscule slice of the netbook market with the unimaginative but functional LinkPC. Aside from the LinkPC netbook, the company is known for its LCD monitors.
According to a recent release by an unnamed Taiwanese source, ViewSonic is looking to fire up its game in China with a few more LCD products intended for implementation in notebooks and netbooks. In addition it means to throw a gargantuan 22″ notebook into the market, perhaps as a gambit to get some attention by simply creating products that take up more space.
Europe’s netbook market was beaten out by that of the States, but nevertheless 2.5 million of the 20.1 million PCs shipped were netbooks. Netbook shipments accounted for a great deal of the PC market’s 12.1% growth last year. However, the netbook boost didn’t solve all of the industry’s problems – Gartner says the European PC market was 17.2% more massive in 2007.
The netbook manufacturer ASUS, the brain behind the Eee PC, shipped 1.49 million of the total 2.5 in fourth quarter. A year earlier, that number was a mere 513,000. That’s 190% growth!
Acer, to contrast, saw a mere 12.4% growth, but they’ve already got 20.3% of the PC market – they sell notebooks, not just netbooks – so they have little to worry about. ASUS also captured more of the market share, stretching its reach from 2.9% a year ago to 7.4% last quarter.
The average selling price of a PC dropped 15%, according to the Gartner report. Hopefully this is just a temporary shift, but it’s difficult to ignore the growing power of mobile PCs, notebooks, and of course netbooks.
The netbook market was less heroic in regions such as Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa. They’ve all been feeling the economic crisis, and their electronics markets, no matter how small they were in the first place, still suffered.