With all the hype surrounding smartphones and tablet computers, it might seem a little odd to talk of 2010 as the year of the netbook. But ABI Research is projecting that sales of the low-cost, lightweight devices are likely to soar this year.
The researchers expect netbook sales to reach 58 million this year, well ahead of the 36.3 million units that sold in 2009, while the tablet market will remain a much smaller market. Hardware Central takes a look at ABI’s forecast.
Smartphones got most of the attention of IT buyers interested in mobile devices last year, but it also proved to be a positive year for netbooks as well, with 2009 the first full year that the new class of mobile computers had been broadly available.
Early last year, ABI Research predicted that some 35 million netbooks would ship in 2009. But netbooks actually sold a bit better than ABI’s forecast: About 36.3 million netbooks shipped in 2009, according to figures released by the research firm this week.
As for this year, ABI’s forecast is bullish despite the impact of Apple’s (NASDAQ: AAPL) iPad and a new generation of tablet devices that many observers expect to eat away at netbook sales. For 2010, ABI forecasts netbook shipments to reach 58 million, while tablets remain a far smaller market.