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Acer kicks Dell out of number two spot in notebook shipments

The recession has had a significant impact on global PC shipments and has led many consumers to shop for netbooks rather than notebook computers. That means that some computer makers that were relatively unknown a few years ago prior to the netbook revolution are now featured much more prominently.

Research firm DisplaySearch has issued its latest findings for the notebook PC market for Q1 2009. According to the company, netbooks have grown to almost 20% of the notebook market during the quarter. The clear leader in the netbook market remains Acer with a full 30.5% of the netbook market. The second place netbook maker was ASUS; the firm that helped start the netbook revolution with its Eee netbooks. DisplaySearch reports that Acer sold twice as many netbooks as ASUS.

The penetration rate for netbooks was highest in EMEA and Latin America according to DisplaySearch and lowest in China and America. About 45% of all netbooks shipped went to EMEA for the quarter while only 26% of netbooks shipped to North America. One of the things that helped the European grab so much of the netbook market is the fact that many mobile phone service providers offer subsidized netbooks in Europe. That sort of offer is still a rarity in America.

In the notebook category the dominant company was HP with 24.1% of the notebook market – the company shipped over 7.3 million notebooks. Acer grabbed the second place spot for global notebook shipments from Dell as Dell slipped to the number three spot. DailyTech reported in early May that Acer could steal Dell's number two spot. Acer had the largest percentage of its shipments accounted for by netbooks at 31.6%. The other major manufacturers including Dell, HP, Lenovo, and Toshiba all had under 10% of their shipments come from netbooks.

HP's netbook shipments dropped 22% from Q4 2008 to Q1 2009, as did its notebook shipments with an 11% decline for the same period. Acer saw netbook shipments decline 18% from Q4 2008 to Q1 2009 and its notebook shipments declined 9%. Dell saw no decline in its netbook shipments over the Q4 2008 Q1 2009 time frame, though its notebook shipments dropped 19% over the period. ASUS posted the most extreme declines of all the top notebook makers with netbook shipments dropping 47% from Q4 to Q1 and notebook shipments dropping the same amount.

DisplaySearch analyst John F. Jacobs said, "It is clear at the moment that mini-notes play a vital role in the total PC market. Without the additional volume provided by these products, shipment volumes for the notebook PC market would have been down 19% Y/Y, instead of only falling 3%. While there is no doubt that many buyers of mini-notes would have chosen larger notebook PCs if mini-notes were not available, it is also certain that many buyers might have chosen not to purchase a notebook PC at all."

Some analysts and computer makers feel that the netbook is killing the notebook market as consumers flock to the cheaper systems and stay away from higher margin notebooks. As the economy rebounds the netbook may see its market share begin to decline.

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Something does not add up
By Shadowself on 5/14/2009 2:55:23 PM , Rating: 1
Apple claimed its notebook sales only contracted less than 2% for the quarter, but they don't sell a netbook which accounts for 20+% of the market. All the other major players claimed larger drops in their portable unit sales even when including their netbook sales. The math just does not seem right some how.

Did Apple really do that well in the non netbook arena, are other vendors' non entbook portable sales being under reported somehow, or am I missing something?

RE: Something does not add up
By mmntech on 5/14/09, Rating: 0
RE: Something does not add up
By omnicronx on 5/14/2009 3:46:14 PM , Rating: 2
While he is being offtopic, you obviously missed the entire point of his question. Sales are down for laptops as a whole and netbooks are taking notebook share, so they are kind of getting a double whammy in terms of lost sales. This is why Apple is relevent, as they are part of that notebook sector that is losing sales.

People are forgoing traditional laptops for smaller netbooks, so even Apple is going to be effected here. That being said, Apples numbers are probably accurate, they have been getting steady gains for the past few years, so a 2% loss year over year is pretty bad for them.

RE: Something does not add up
By michael2k on 5/14/2009 3:58:57 PM , Rating: 3
I don't think he missed the point at all. You can't say Apple is part of the market that is losing sales when they only lost 2% where everyone else lost 19%.

Normal PC vendors saw a 19% drop in notebook sales; Apple only dropped 2%.
Normal PC vendors saw a 20% rise in netbook sales, which means substituting a several hundred dollar margin product with a less than one hundred dollar margin product. Apple saw nearly 100% growth in iPod/iPhone sales (which was Apple's economic substitute for a netbook)
Normal PC vendors saw a net 2% drop (much like Apple if you only count PCs)
Therefore you can say normal PC vendors saw substitution of netbook sales for notebook sales. Apple saw no substitution (either within its own sales or for other PC vendors) and saw additional growth in the smartphone category.

Conclusion: Apple is doing very well compared to other vendors, and still reasonably well compared to past history.

RE: Something does not add up
By omnicronx on 5/15/2009 8:38:19 AM , Rating: 2
I don't think you read either post... The original reply was asking why he mentioned Apple, and I described why. I went on to say that Apples numbers are most likely correct.(thus the drop in notebook sales must be from the PC side). That being said he still had a valid question.

And why you took this so offtopic I am not sure. Apple is NOT doing good in the notebook sector compared to previous years. Compared to other vendors yes, but when was the last time they had a negative growth in notebook sales? Been a few years at least. How their other products are doing is beyond the scope of this argument.

RE: Something does not add up
By segerstein on 5/15/2009 4:11:36 PM , Rating: 2
sales != shipments

RE: Something does not add up
By michael2k on 5/14/2009 3:46:43 PM , Rating: 2
Not only did Apple do that well in the non netbook arena, they wiped the floor when you consider they sold more iPhones and iPod touches than all netbooks combined.

$400 netbook vs $299 iPod/iPhone is a no brainer from the average consumer.

But Apple gets an additional several hundred dollar subsidy for every iPhone!

RE: Something does not add up
By omnicronx on 5/15/2009 9:07:00 AM , Rating: 2
$400 netbook vs $299 iPod/iPhone is a no brainer from the average consumer.
As great as these devices are, you are kidding yourself if you think they compete directly. And do you actually think the average consumer and Apple user can be put in the same category? The average consumer does NOT pay 300 for an mp3 player or phone. Dont forget they still account for a tiny percentage of total phone sales, and they are no longer the #1 selling phone.

Apple has an amazing business model and make a large amount of cash while pushing a small amount of product, but that does not mean they curtail to the 'average consumer'. Unless of course the average consumer only consists of 5-10% of the market (notebook/desktop and phone markets). The only market that your statements prove true is the mp3 player market.

And a 2% loss for Apple in the netbook market is not doing 'well'. It proves they are recession resilient perhaps, but a loss in a market that they have been going up and not looking back for the past few years is bad for Apple. Of course not nearly as bad as the 20% losses from their PC counterparts, but still not good for them.

Netbooks went from a nothing market only a year ago, to selling 4+ million a quarter, thats pretty amazing and just as much as the iPhone which has a year headstart.

RE: Something does not add up
By michael2k on 5/15/2009 1:32:42 PM , Rating: 2
If a person wants a secondary device to browse the web and check email, then yes a netbook and an iPhone do compete directly.

And when you consider their past products (iPod, iTunes store), and their connection to the iPhone (iPod touch is largely identical sans phone and camera), yes Apple is marketing the iPhone directly to the average consumer.

The average consumer DOES buy an iPod, whether it be shuffle, nano, classic, or touch. Apple just hasn't entered the nano or shuffle categories with the iPhone and has placed it into the premium category right now.

You also mix percentages: Given that the iPhone/iPod touch outsold the netbook, the market for that device is larger than the market for the netbook. At their current growth rate then it would be reasonable to assume that their market is going to correspond roughly with the netbook market.

RE: Something does not add up
By mydogfarted on 5/15/2009 12:06:59 PM , Rating: 2
People who are going to buy Macs are going to buy Macs. People looking for a Windows machine are buying more netbooks than traditional laptops. Hence the 20% in laptop sales drop to netbooks.

Netbooks are nice (I've currently got two on my desk that I'm setting up for my office), but I expect that people will eventually grow tired of staring at tiny screens. I wouldn't want one as my main machine, but for someone who travels a lot or works on the road, these are perfect.

Netbooks for the win!
By quiksilvr on 5/14/2009 2:44:15 PM , Rating: 5
It makes perfect sense. Just have a nice portable netbook when you are on the go and when you need to get some serious done (graphical design, extreme gaming) then use a desktop. Hell, at this point though, all you need is a nettop and a netbook and just a console. All that combined is cheaper than a regular notebook.

RE: Netbooks for the win!
By TomZ on 5/14/09, Rating: 0
RE: Netbooks for the win!
By Aloonatic on 5/15/2009 5:43:07 AM , Rating: 2
I think the point is that most people don't need the fastest CPUs any more (if they ever really have, the message has got through now though) so Nettops/books are fine for what they do and then graphically, that's where the console comes in if you're a gamer, happy to play FPS and RTS (usually) without a mouse that is.

Sure, some people will have more power hungry requirements, especially those reading these pages, but the masses don't. Perhaps a NAS of some sort should have been included in the op's list however. Everyone needs lots of space for their "special private videos", their DVD rips** that they have the original DVD for somewhere in the attic (honest, it wasn't downloaded from the piratebay), 10,000 super Mega Pixel photos and HD videos that are still rubbish and poorly framed, just in higher quality than ever before :-D

** Yes, a fast CPU would be nice here, but most people are happy to queue stuff up and have their dinner while it woks away and a surprising number of people are on the torrent bus these days too, so that's why I've included that in the list of "the masses" media collection sources.

Netbook revolution = cell phone revolution
By Shig on 5/14/2009 3:01:24 PM , Rating: 2
Not many people had cell phones in 1995, 10 years later, everyone had them. Two years of netbooks and they already have ~20% of the marketshare, it'll be close to 100% by 2015 I think.

They'll turn into disposable commodities like most people view cell phones now. E-Landfills coming to a dump near you.

By 67STANG on 5/14/2009 5:48:30 PM , Rating: 2
I agree. In fact, what is stopping them from making an even lighter/cheaper netbook that is just a battery, keyboard and a dock for your smart phone-- which would do all of the work? That's the netbook of the future.

By tmouse on 5/15/2009 7:54:04 AM , Rating: 3
Small but important clarification:

The article is not saying netbooks are 20% of the market, its saying according to one source 20% of the market sales last quarter were netbooks. I'm not saying they will not become a dominant portion of the market but that is NOT what this article says.

And that is before the touch netbooks are out
By Visual on 5/15/2009 6:11:23 AM , Rating: 2
If you think netbooks are getting a lot of attention now, just you wait till the asus eee T91 and other similar, multitouch, improved-gpu netbooks arrive. Then the craze will grow exponentially.

The current and soon expected netbooks do have issues - for example the really low 1024x600 resolution on almost all of them, unfortunately including the mentioned T91. Even the 1280x768 screen on my current Gigabyte M912X tablet-convertible netbook (netlet?) is often too limiting - many websites do not fit well in portrait mode. That's why I am not sure if I would "upgrade" to the T91 when it comes... multi-touch should be fun, but I would hate the reduced resolution.

Eventually, especially after Windows 7 has launched with its very nice touchscreen support, I am sure even greater netlets will be released. Introductory prices will no doubt go higher than the low-end people usually associate with netbooks, but I'd expect that to still be just 700-800 usd, nowhere near what current ultra-light convertible notebooks are.

By Visual on 5/22/2009 9:39:27 AM , Rating: 3
A small follow up on my own post - I found that the T91 will NOT have multi-touch enabled screen, but just a multi-touch touch-pad. Terrible and misleading advertisement by Asus. I officially hate them now.

I like the inclusion of GPS and TV tuner in the T91, but those just drive the price up and aren't required by many people. The T91 turned out to be a huge disappointment for me...

Although I still...
By Motoman on 5/15/2009 2:07:34 PM , Rating: 3
...think we are inventing way too many freaking labels for things, the "netbook" trend simply demonstrates a fundamental fact: the vast majority of people require very little from a computer.

Gamers and enthusiasts need to remember that they are, what, 1% of the PC market? Not being snide...I honestly think that probably 99% or so of all PC consumers are neither gamers nor enthusiasts. Anyway...probably close to that.

At any rate, the VAST majority of people have no need for 3Ghz processors. Or DX10.1 compatible video cards with 512Mb frame buffers. Or 7.1 HD audio. Or...most of the things that gamers and enthusiasts get excited about.

The vast majority of consumers need internet access. Email. Basic word processing. They might want to listen to music, and they might want to occasionally watch a DVD. That's pretty much it. And a 10-year old PC can do that just fine...if you cobbled together a 500Mhz Athlon Thunderbird, 256Mb of RAM, a 20Gb hard drive, and a 32Mb ATI Rage 128 video card, you'd have that nailed.

"Netbooks" address this market. That's why they are so popular. I think that's all there is to it.

By mondo1234 on 5/14/2009 2:52:58 PM , Rating: 2
I just got a 10" netbook with 32 gb SSD, BT, Camera, Wifi, Ubuntu, Open Office and FireFox. It has an SDHD slot for more storage, but no DVD/CD. Only had it a few days, so the jury is still out. They are definitely not for gamers, but for routine stuff, it seems OK. It only weights a couple pounds. Dont know if I will keep Ubuntu or not, I have a spare XP license to load if necessary, but I cant imagine needing much else for the road. It even plays MP4 video files just fine.
For $299, you can find them with XP and conventional HDDs.

By judasmachine on 5/14/2009 5:46:45 PM , Rating: 2
...but I for one love netbooks. I say leave the heavy high speced laptops to the business and mobile gaming crowds, and for the rest of us, let us have netbooks. I hug my Eee everytime we make the trip to the cafe on the bike.

It's not fast
It's pretty
It's light
It's capable
It's good enough for most users

"We shipped it on Saturday. Then on Sunday, we rested." -- Steve Jobs on the iPad launch
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