Netbook demand to rise in Singapore

Cloud computing and prevalence of wireless broadband in country will drive sales of portable and ultraportable PCs, says AMI-Partners.

Netbook sales in Singapore are expected to get a boost from the availability of wireless broadband in the country and the government's efforts to encourage cloud computing, a new study has revealed.

According to AMI-Partners' recent survey findings released Thursday, Singapore's small businesses (SBs) with up to 99 employees, are expected to spend US$235 million this year on notebook PCs. This represents a 4 percent growth in such spending over 2008.

Among Singapore SBs polled, 10 percent said they have migrated from desktop PCs to notebooks, with 88 percent among them citing the need for employees to be mobile or telecommute.

The prevalence of wireless broadband coverage in Singapore has enabled people using notebooks and netbooks to stay connected and remain efficient and productive while away from the office, AMI noted.

Anson Quek, a Singapore-based analyst at AMI-Partners, noted employees of the country's SBs are increasingly mobile and telecommute more.

"Businesses...expect employee productivity to increase with notebook PCs," Quek said in a press release.

According to the research house, Singapore's aim to be a leading nation in the use of cloud computing usage will also increase demand for netbooks in the country.

Quek said: "SBs in industries such as financial services, retail, manufacturing, healthcare and wholesale will benefit from netbooks coupled with cloud computing".

AMI-Partners noted the small size and light weight of a netbook suits mobile workers but cautioned that such ultraportables may not possess sufficient processing power.

Based in Singapore, Konrad Foo is an intern with ZDNet Asia.