ABI Thinks Netbooks Will Win


benq-joybook-lite-u101-netbook-4ABI Research today issued a new report in which it forecasts shipments of netbooks will reach 35 million in 2009, and 139 million in 2013. Back in September, the firm released a report saying it expected 200 million ultramobile devices to be shipped by 2013, so I suppose it now believes most of them will be netbooks. As practice director Kevin Burden puts it:

“In recent years, the industry still expected the smartphones to be more than they turned out to be, and most recently, MIDs were thought to be the next big mobile devices segment, but an unclear usage model continues to confuse the market. So today, netbooks’ time has come, and ABI research expects them to enjoy very strong market growth.”

ABI believes the ultramobile PCs and mobile Internet devices pushed by vendors such as Qualcomm (s QCOM), which feature smaller screens and true cell phone capability, will only account for some 30 percent of the market within four years and that the rest will be netbooks. If so, that’s unfortunate, because netbooks require too much compromise on the part of consumers.

Personally, netbooks don’t feel enough like a computer in terms of keyboard and screen size for when I’m working, and are way too big and heavy to cart around with me. I want a better and more usable cell phone near me at all times, and a powerful laptop for working, both when I’m on the go and at my desk.

ABI Research and others credit the current popularity of netbooks on the devices’ low price tags rather than their features. As Kevin from jkOnTheRun says, not only are they cheap, but they offer good value compared to laptops. Indeed, netbooks provide 80-90 percent of the computing abilities for a fraction of the cost.

But that lowers the bar for mobile computing, so I hope netbooks are just a diversion while we figure out ways to improve performance and data entry so I don’t need to buy a third device. With better user interfaces for smartphones, such as speech, and more data and applications accessible in the cloud, smartphones become a viable competitor for ultraportable computing. I think the industry can address those issues earlier than 2013. I hope they will.



Its amazing what this technology could bring. Netbooks could be the replacement for mobile and notebooks few years from now. I agree with the previous comment, wireless companies tie the customers from using the full potential of the cell phone. I hope cell phone companies do not get their hands dirty and stop limiting users.

Graži netbook ateitis : nežinau.lt

[…] firma ABI Research paskelbÄ— prognozes, pagal kurias Å¡iemet bus parduoti 35 milijonai mažųjų neÅ¡iojamųjų kompiuterių, o 2013-aisiais – net 139 …. Pagrindinis tokio didelio populiarumo pagrindas – santykinai maža jų kaina (80-90% […]


Evolution of mobile/ hand-held devices still needs few more years till then notebooks supposed to fill the gap of handy computers provided its improves more in memory management that I feel sick of.


two huge advantages of netbook over cell phone are that they are not sold by phone companies and do not lock users into a walled garden of applications and/or web services.

Abstract Badger

Stacey –

The critical point from the report is giving ‘netbooks’ the majority of the market niche over the ‘Smart Phone’
world in the MID grouping. The critical thing netbooks have brought are power efficiency light weight with
reasonable power at a price point that didn’t exist. ‘netbooks’ with these features, which traditional notebooks
were poor at doing cheaply, will hold these features and get larger UI’s for people who want them. Your
gadget model of the future should consider a voice-recognition ear phone(no key interface or screen or the
illegalities of accompanying use), a larger UI netbook, a DSLR if you do photo-journalism, etc. Smart Phone’s
are poor phones, poor computers, poor cameras, etc. as they currently exist and their market will be limited
at current prices by rich, amateur generalists.


Stacy, I agree with your comments, esp:

“Personally, netbooks don’t feel enough like a computer in terms of keyboard and screen size for when I’m working, and are way too big and heavy to cart around with me. I want a better and more usable cell phone near me at all times, and a powerful laptop for working, both when I’m on the go and at my desk.”

As an example, our company build a secure forms application that works on smartphones for a large mobile healthcare company; the company did not have success getting nurses and health aides to carry laptops around for simple forms completion.

When the needed applications get into an easy to carry and easy to use form factor, that will certainly make netbooks look less appealing.



It’s a tidy and solid niche. Nothing more. The form factor was dominated for years by overpriced critters from Fujitsu – now it takes form as a result of commodity pricing and cheap and sometimes sleazy specs.

As component prices diminish, small to mid-size laptops become taste-tempting and netbooks become nothing more than the new entry-level niche. After all, what have they to offer, really, other than price and 6 oz. lighter?

People like Toshiba and HP, etc. will offer solid 11″ and 13″ alternatives for $100 more.

Netbook Fan

The study results aren’t surprising. A netbook gives you a much more usable web browser and productivity platform than a cell phone.

At the same time, with battery life approaching 8 hours on devices like the Samsung NC-10 and lower weight to make them more travel compatible than a laptop, I can see why the emergence of the netbook makes Intel and Microsoft nervous.

It’s definitely a product whose time has come !

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