DisplaySearch: Tablets keep rising as netbooks begin to fade

January 4, 2012

The research firm puts this rise down to strong tablet shipments in Q3, saying that this was something of a prelude for the equally vigorous demand in Q4, when new devices and additional distribution channels came to the fore.

Unsurprisingly, DisplaySearch appears to be giving up on netbooks, with the group now having cut its forecast for future growth. DisplaySearch says that netbook shipments for 2011 are expected to reach 187.5 million units, up 12% YoY, but still falling short of the firm’s forecast for 188 million units to be shipped.

Meanwhile, mini-note PC shipments are to reach 25.2 million units, up 20% YoY, while total mobile PC shipments are forecast to grow 31% YoY to hit 285.4 million units.

“In the short term, tablet PCs will be the growth accelerant in the overall mobile PC market, as macroeconomic factors and hard drive motor supply issues impact the market for notebook PCs,” said Richard Shim, senior analyst at NPD DisplaySearch.

“In the longer term, notebook PC shipments will bounce back as ASPs continue to decline, Windows 8 launches, and new form factors, such as UltraBooks, continue to emerge.”

DisplaySearch believes that notebook shipments will reach 432 million units by 2017, with tablets projected to reach 383.3 million units over the same time-frame. UltraBook demand is expected to come to the fore later in the forecast period, with premium prices and display supply issues limiting demand over the next two years.

Looking ahead with tablets, DisplaySearch clearly sees that display quality is going to improve, and expects 250-300 pixel per inch panels to make up almost 25% of shipments in 2012.

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