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For 2010, the total portable computer market is expected to grow to 215 million units and US$117 billion, according to a new report by DisplaySearch (http://www.displayresearch.com). And the iPad will play a key role.
Dramatic increases in the size of the slate-style market are expected to be driven by the iPad and slates from other brands that are expected to be launched this year. DisplaySearch expects slates to take some market share from clamshell-style netbooks, as well as lure customers that desire more functionality away from the e-reader market. The company also foresees the majority of slate volume to ship into the North American and Western European markets due, in large part, to Apple’s distribution plans and known content agreements.
The mini-note/netbook/slate category will be the fastest-growing segment of the portable computer market for 2010, propelled in part by the introduction of slates, says DisplaySearch. However, clamshell style devices will continue to grow as well. In addition, the research group expects continued strong growth in emerging markets and a recovery of B2B spending in the second half of the year to lead to 25.7% year-over-year growth as the market surges towards 215 million units.
Strong unit growth and less ASP (average selling price) erosion in 2010 will combine to grow portable computer market revenue to almost $117 billion, recovering to 2008 levels. Revenue growth is forecast to be strongest in the mini-note/slate category due to the introduction of higher-priced products. ASPs for mini-notes have steadily eroded from $400 down to just under $300. The iPad, which DisplaySearch expects to represent the bulk of slate shipments in 2010, has ASPs that start at $499 and increase to more than $800.
"We expect that, like Apple’s iPad, slates from other brands will be positioned as content consumption and manipulation devices, and the necessity of focusing on industrial design and features will result in ASPs that are higher than those of mini-notes," notes John Jacobs, director of Notebook Market Research, DisplaySearch. "The low ASPs of mini-notes have been a concern to component suppliers, OEMs/ODMs, brands and retailers, due to the thinner margins and lower revenue generation of the devices. Slates—especially those that will be able to mimic Apple’s content library, model of content delivery, and their very successful App Store—will be able to generate greater revenue and healthier margins for the brands that build them, the retailers that sell them, and many of the component makes in the supply chain."