ABI Research has come out with a new study affirming the good health of Netbooks sales. Their report argues for a reality check to all of this tablets are killing Netbooks talk. This year 11 million tablets, mostly iPads, will ship this year but it puts it into context against Netbooks shipments. Netbooks are no longer seeing meteoric growth, they experienced such a strong start their growth level was just not sustainable.
ABI’s report doesn’t offer the usual doom and gloom “Netbook Are Dead” assessment of the Netbook that other analysts are advancing.
To put numbers in perspective Netbook shipments should reach 43 million worldwide this year. “Apple has sold a few million iPads in its first quarter, which is great for creating a new market,” wrote ABI Research principal analyst Jeff Orr. “But early adoption of media tablets is not outpacing Netbooks. The average selling price above $650 isn’t driving mass adoption. Competition, especially on price, is needed.”
Orr said in a phone interview with cnet that the iPad’s price points “make it a luxury item.” And the holiday season? “Going into a holiday buying season there may be some surprises for media tablets, but I’m not seeing it,” Orr said.
Back in 2008 when Netbooks rose into the spotlight Orr puts Netbook shipments at 15 million, which is close to numbers cited by other market research firms. So, that would put the Netbook ahead of the iPad in the first year of mass adoption. The iPad started shipping in April of this year, back in ’08 Netbook didn’t get started until after the first Atom processors were announced in March 2008. It was only towards the middle of the year that Atom-based Netbooks finally began to trickle in. That’s 15M in roughly 6-7 months, the iPad has only done a projected 11M inmonths.
In the Netbooks first full year of sale shipments doubled to 30 million. In 2010 if ABI’s research is one the money with their 43 million Netbook projection, means the market won’t double in 2010 but it would still be a healthy increase. “43 million netbook shipments are good growth, just not the meteoric pace of the past couple of years,” Orr wrote. And Intel executives expressed similar sentiment during this week’s earnings conference call. “Netbooks today are primarily a mature market,” said Stacy Smith, Intel chief financial officer, on Tuesday.