Netbook computer sales are the current driving force in PC sales growth. Recent reports on netbooks show that consumer demand for these low cost, lightweight computers continues to explode with new models and new CPUs being introduced. Netbooks are a relatively new and interesting segment of the PC market and I’ve written about them previous tech tips including the Netbook Computer Primer and a post on the appeal of netbook computers for students. The speed and scope of the netbook’s acceptance has been a surprised to many and current sales numbers for netbook computers show no signs of slowing down.
Netbook Computer Sales Reports
Recent reports on netbook computer sales including one from DisplaySearch in its Q3 2009 Quarterly Advanced Notebook PC Shipment and Forecast Report, provide insights on netbook computer acceptance by consumers. The data on netbook sales show:
- Netbook computer worldwide sales grew 264% year-to-year from Q2 08 – Q2 09.
- During the Q2 08 – Q2 09 period netbook computer sales revenue grew from $845M to $3.07B worldwide.
- The sales of other portable PC segments fell up to 31% during same time period.
- Average sales price of portable computers decreased between 10% and 29% depending on category during the same period.
- Netbooks accounted for over 22 percent of all portable computer sales worldwide in Q3 2009 although only 11% of sales revenue.
- All major PC manufacturers are making netbook computers with the exception of Apple.
In a shift in worldwide computer sales rankings netbook sales by Acer, including their popular Aspire One model, have help the company leap into the number two position in worldwide computer sales, overtaking Dell. Worldwide, HP remains the top selling computer manufacturer although in the US Dell leads in sales but is in very close competition with HP for the top spot.
Netbook Computer Growth Dampens Laptop Computer Demand
Part of the growth in netbook computer sales has come at the expense of the more established laptop and notebook segments. As part of this shift low-cost netbooks are putting increased downward pressure on the pricing of other types of portable PCs. All of this is good news for consumers. Rather than spending $500 or more on a laptop, price sensitive shoppers can view netbooks as a less expensive way to buy a portable computer or replace an old one for only $250 – $350. While there are definite limitations on what a netbook can do compared to a laptop computer, netbooks can do enough to effectively meet the needs (and budgets) of many people.