Gradual gains seen in netbooks, Bernstein says

Jan 21, 2009 By Rex Crum

The market for ultraportable laptop computers, also known as netbooks, is seen as having some of the best potential for the PC market, but is not likely to overwhelm the sector soon, according to a recent report.

The research report, by Bernstein Research analysts Toni Sacconaghi, Jeffrey Lindsay and Craig Moffet, estimates that more than 10 million netbooks will be sold this year, accounting for about 16 percent of the total consumer-PC market worldwide. The analysts said that the mobility offered by netbooks will help spur demand among consumers for wireless Internet access, leading to benefits for personal-technology products such as smart phones.

Bernstein's analysts say the impact of netbooks will most likely be seen in how the devices eat away at sales of higher-priced PCs and in giving smaller vendors more of a presence in the personal-computer market.

However, infrastructure requirements for wireless networks may provide a challenge in expanding the use of netbooks, and that wireless broadband networks will need to be developed more to appropriately accommodate any major growth in the use of netbooks and other wireless-computing devices.

"The issue is not speed, but rather throughput, in our view," the analysts wrote. "It would simply be too expensive to support the number of base stations required for wired broadband substitution."

Sacconaghi, Lindsay and Moffet define throughput as the frequency of use of the network, how long an online session lasts and the intensity of the applications used. The costs associated with building up wireless networks mean that "it is unrealistic to expect that the wireless operators are going to provide huge amounts of unlimited broadband usage" to provide wireless broadband service that is the equivalent of traditional wired service.

In spite of that, the Bernstein analysts estimate that netbooks will scratch away a position in the PC market, but that the leading manufacturers, many of whom already are pushing into the netbook sector, will be able to defend their market positions against upstart, smaller players.

___

(c) 2009, MarketWatch.com Inc.
Visit MarketWatch on the Web at www.marketwatch.com
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

Explore further: Two more former Sony workers sue over data breach

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Sony hacking fallout puts all companies on alert

2 hours ago

Companies across the globe are on high alert to tighten up network security to avoid being the next company brought to its knees by hackers like those that executed the dramatic cyberattack against Sony Pictures ...

Recommended for you

Constantly changing online prices stump shoppers

6 hours ago

Online shopping has become as volatile as stock market trading. Wild, minute-by-minute price swings on everything from clothes to TVs have made it difficult for holiday shoppers to "buy low."

'Interview' ordeal at Sony just its latest crisis

9 hours ago

How do you say "damage control" in Japanese? Sony Corp. is sealed within a hermetic cone of silence as executives try to prevent the slow motion train wreck at Sony Pictures from damaging the rest of the ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.