According to new forecasts from ABI Research (http://www.abiresearch.com), just over 11 million media tablets and 43 million netbooks will ship worldwide this year. That's somewhat lower than observers expected at the end of last year based on the diminutive computers’ remarkable showing in the period following their introduction, per the research group.
Nonetheless, says ABI Research principal analyst Jeff Orr, “43 million netbook shipments are good growth, just not the meteoric pace of the past couple of years.”
Part of the drop in demand for netbooks may be laid at the feet of the potentially-competitive media tablets. However, tablets are still a long way from the 40-50 million annual shipments that ABI Research considers the threshold for a “mass market” product -- a definition that netbooks still fit.
“Apple has sold a few million iPads in its first quarter, which is...