Netbooks: Time to write the obit?

Summary:IDC its 2010 PC industry predictions and became the second major research firm to note that mininotebooks, or netbooks, will hit the growth wall and plateau.

IDC on Monday rolled out its 2010 PC industry predictions and became the second major research firm to note that mininotebooks, or netbooks, will hit the growth wall and plateau.

Why? Portable PC prices are coming down and netbooks just don't have the differentiation to compete with more full featured computing devices. Netbook prices will have growth rates of low double digits, just below the portable PC average, said IDC in a statement.

Gartner mentioned the same theme for netbooks last week. In its 2010 forecast, Gartner said that mini-notebooks will fuel growth this year and then fade.

Add it up and it appears that the bandwagon calling for the death of netbooks is filling up. I can't say I disagree, but the switch in the consensus view is notable.

Among the notable calls from IDC's 2010 outlook:

  • Ultrathin notebooks will account for less than 5 percent of total portable PC shipments. IDC says the focus on ultrathin PCs will continue, but the value to the consumer isn't clear. Actually, my biggest hang-up in my notebook shopping has been the underpowered chips in ultrathins.
  • Don't expect average selling prices to continue to tank.
  • Portable PCs with WiMax embedded will surpass shipments with 3G chips embedded.
  • All in one desktop market share will double to be 10 percent of the desktop market.
  • 10 percent of enterprise desktop deployments will be virtual.
  • The launch of Apple's iPad won't spur demand for Windows-based Tablet PCs. In other words, Apple's iPad is a unique product that won't suddenly make those newfangled tablets a big category for the also rans.

Topics: Hardware, Mobility

About

Larry Dignan is Editor in Chief of ZDNet and SmartPlanet as well as Editorial Director of ZDNet's sister site TechRepublic. He was most recently Executive Editor of News and Blogs at ZDNet. Prior to that he was executive news editor at eWeek and news editor at Baseline. He also served as the East Coast news editor and finance editor at CN... Full Bio

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