Netbook shipments continue to rise

Netbooks grab greater market share with more than 38 million shipped in the second quarter of 2009, says new report from DisplaySearch.

Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Lance Whitney

More than 38 million Netbooks shipped in the second quarter of 2009, helping them capture a 22.2 percent share of the portable PC market, according to a report released Monday from DisplaySearch.

Quarterly demand for Netbooks, or mini-note PCs, jumped 40 percent over the first quarter, according to DisplaySearch's latest "Quarterly PC Shipment and Forecast Report." This surge contrasts with notebook shipments, which grew 22 percent over the same period.

Former Netbook pioneer Asus has been losing sales to other manufacturers, notes the report. Acer, HP, Dell, Lenovo, and Toshiba have all jumped into the mini market with their own offerings.

The lower price of Netbooks has helped them win a bigger market share over notebooks in Latin America and China, notes DisplaySearch. These regions have many first-time PC buyers bypassing notebooks with lots of bells and whistles in favor of simpler but cheaper Netbooks.

Netbook makers can also thank telecommunications providers, who have been subsidizing mini-note PCs to lure customers. In many Western European countries, telecom companies subsidize 100 percent of the Netbook's price tag when customers sign up for a two-year data plan, says DisplaySearch. Cable providers have also gotten into the act, offering heavily-discounted Netbooks for people who sign up for cable TV, Internet, and phone service.