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â€œWith the lone exception of Apple, all of the top 10 computer brands have entered the mini-note PC market, initially as a response to the competitive threat posed by Asus, but also to satisfy demand from customers for low-priced, thin and very light (less than 3 pounds) products that provide at least a modicum of typical office software functionality and also enable greater mobility,â€ says John F. Jacobs, director of Notebook Market Research at Display Search. "The demand for greater mobility is especially evident in certain geographies as a number of mini-note PC brands are partnering with telecom providers to subsidize mini-note PCs, much like they do mobile phones. Worldwide demand for these products is forecast to grow rapidly over the next few years with demand from a variety of sources, including early adopters, consumer and enterprise PC customers seeking a smaller or secondary notebook PC, as well as new PC customers in emerging markets. We expect the mini-note PC market to settle at approximately 16 percent share of the notebook PC market by 2011."
Worldwide, HP retained its top spot in the laptop market, but Acer overtook Dell to take second place. Asus, with its 189 percent growth in unit shipments, vaulted over Apple, Sony, Lenovo and Fujitsu-Siemens to draw level with Toshiba, and it will take fourth place this quarter. On a global basis, all the top portable computer companies grew faster than Apple (24 percent growth), except Lenovo (seven percent) and Sony (two percent).
However, as The Guardian notes: "Whether they care is another matter. A table of suppliers by sales revenues would look very different from the one for unit sales. Apple and Sony are competing to sell portable computers that cost $1,000-$2,000, and they're not playing in the $250-$500 market, where margins are razor thin."
Worldwide, Apple is in seventh place on the laptop market share list with 4.6 percent market share. Ahead of it (as of the third quarter of this year) are HP (21.3 percent), HP (14.4 percent), Dell (13.7 percent), Toshiba (nine percent), Sony (5.6 percent) and Fujitsu (4.7 percent).