Acer and Asustek gain more than they lose from netbooks, says Digitimes Research
Yen Ting Chen, Taipei; Joseph Tsai, DIGITIMES [Friday 19 December 2008]
With Acer and Asustek Computer the top-two players in the netbook market, some market watchers expected the two vendors to feel the greatest impact from netbooks eating into notebook sales in their shipments this year. However, Digitimes Research analyst, Joanne Chien has pointed out that the benefits from netbooks for the two vendors have been far greater than any damage caused, and instead the growing netbook market is actually affecting the shipments performance of other first-tier vendors more.
The scale of the netbook market in 2008 is estimated to reach around 14.86 million units, boosting total global shipments growth of notebooks and netbooks to 37% on year. Shipments growth of notebooks alone will be just 23%. Meanwhile, Acer and Asustek's combined share of the 2008 netbook market will reach around 65%, according to Digitimes Research.
With netbooks helping Acer's on-year notebook shipments growth in 2008 to reach 53% and Asustek's 135%, the shrinkage of Hewlett-Packard's (HP's) on-year notebook shipments growth from 58% in 2007 to 29% this year is an indication that netbook shipments are having a great affect on each vendor's shipments performance, Chien pointed out.
However, since netbook competition in 2009 will be much more fierce than this year, Acer and Asustek will definitely face a much tougher challenge next year.
The biggest advantages of netbooks are mobility and consumer orientation, but Chien siad LCD panel size will eventually hit a bottleneck since the smaller-size displays found in current netbooks are not suitable for users who need to work for long periods. Chien predicted there will be an increase in the number on users connecting their netbooks to external displays in the future.
As there is little differentiation in features and specifications among netbooks, strengthening sales and channel operations will be the key for second-tier vendors to survive in the market while first-tier vendors can leverage their economies of scale, Chien added.