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Laptops

Netbook sales exploded in 2008: Dell not responsible

Asus created the world's netbook obsession, but it's not leading the pack in terms of sales. The report for 2008 netbook sales is in, and it came with a few surprises

The market for small and cheap laptops -- netbooks -- boomed in 2008, with almost 15 million of the things sold globally. But ironically Asus, who pioneered the netbook craze, was not the industry leader.

According to a report published by Displaybank, Acer sold the most netbooks in 2008 -- thanks in part to its excellent Aspire One -- with 5.5 million total sales, giving the Taiwanese manufacturer a 37 per cent share of the dirt-cheap notebook market. Asus shipped 4.9 million netbooks, giving it a 33 per cent market share.

HP and MSI take third and fourth place in the top five, followed by Intel in fifth place. But what about Dell? Intel's fifth place was the result of a tiny 2 per cent market share, meaning Dell's is even lower still. For one of the largest computer manufacturers in the world, this is not inspiring news, although to be fair, it only stage-dived into the netbook moshpit late in the year.

In 2009 netbooks are expected to account for 17 per cent of all laptop sales, and almost 20 per cent by 2012. But will this figure be significant enough for netbook-shunning Apple to step into the ring?