It's interesting: netbooks would appear to be a fairly niche product — the are small, slow, and weak but highly portable. For years, people have always wanted more power with more mobility. But the netbook merely substitutes power for portability. As underpowered as they may be, people are still buying them.
Some have projected that 2009 was the climax for netbook sales, and that 2010 and beyond will be all down hill from there. But now others are predicting growth in 2010.
Needless to say, this is more complex than first thought.
As we previously covered, IDC predicted that netbook sales would slow down, and that 2009 was the "climax" of netbook sales.
But do not tell that to DisplaySearch: this leading firm for display marketing research. They are predicting that sales for netbooks will actually increase in 2010.
From 2009's 33.3 million netbook sales, DisplaySearch believes that 2010 could bring 39.7 million netbook sales — a substantial increase, although these numbers hint at a slowdown in growth.
The report also notes that netbook pricing will influence these numbers heavily:
The low prices of mini-notes [netbooks] make these products attractive to buyers seeking a secondary PC for the home, as well as making them more affordable for first-time PC buyers in emerging markets, who are less likely to require all the features available on a larger mainstream notebook PC. The relatively low ASPs also make mini-notes attractive to wireless service providers that hope to add to their revenue by offering subsidized mini-notes with data plan contracts.
Needless to say, Christmas season, as usual, will be a maker or breaker for these netbooks. Although, it is interesting to note that the netbook market is finally starting to bring quality netbooks to market.
It appears that 10-inch netbooks and larger are the most desired (and are the only ones I'm even able to type on, if barely). If we see a 10-inch netbook at around $200 for the 2010 holiday's, it will be quite a nice year for netbooks.
Back-to-school season is also a nice time for netbook makers to market their ultra-portable machines for students on the move.
Regardless, I still maintain a general distaste for netbook computers. Sure, they are ultra-portable, but they take away far too many features to make them worth it, and they still cost much more for the same power and performance you could receive in a 13-inch or larger notebook. I'm just not seeing the valuable.
If you want something very portable, purchase a smart phone or an MID — otherwise, why not stick with the tried and true notebook?