If there was ever any doubt that the low-cost netbook market was rapidly turning into a major chunk of the computing world, market research firm DisplaySearch may be putting those doubts to an end. According to preliminary data released by the company, netbooks accounted for almost 20 percent of all the entire worldwide PC market during the first quarter of 2009. And the market leaders shouldn’t be any surprise to anyone following the netbook business: computer maker Acer lead the category with a 30.5 percent share of the netbook market, almost double that of its nearest rival, Asus.
“It is clear at the moment that mini-notes play a vital role in the total PC market,” said DisplaySearch’s Director of Notebook Market Research John Jacobs, in a statement. “Without the additional volume provided by these products, shipment volumes for the notebook PC market would have been down 19 percent year-over-year, instead of only falling 3 percent.”
DisplaySearch found that, during the first quarter of 2009, almost 6 million mini-notebooks were shipped from manufacturers, without about 45 percent of those units bound for the EMEA market (Europe, the Middle East, and Africa). Less than 26 percent of the netbooks shipped during the quarter went to North America. DisplaySearch attributes some popularity of netbooks in Europe to telecom subsidy plans in Europe that offer discounted netbooks with two-year data plans; such plans are only now beginning to appear in the North American market.
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