An Acer Aspire One netbook at a computer mall in Taipei September 8, 2009.
Sales of netbook will not be affected by Apple iPad's launch, top executives of Intel and AMD said.
Earlier this week, reports flooded the market that iPad was eating into the sale of netbooks. According to a survey by Morgan Stanley/Alphawise, the netbook market grew 5 percent year-on-year in April 2010. In comparison, on a year-on-year basis, the netbook market grew 53 percent and 25 percent in February and March.
Interestingly, forty-four percent of potential iPad buyers in the U.S. said they'll buy Apple's latest product rather than a netbook or a laptop.
According to a chart published by Morgan Stanley's Katy Huberty, netbook sales peaked in July 2009 with an amazing 641 percent year-on-year growth rate. However, in January it fell sharply to 68 percent and in April, to 5 percent.
The chart suggests that sales became most sluggish when the iPad was launched (in January) and after it hit the stores (in April). Reportedly over 1 million iPads were sold since its April 3 debut.
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However, both Intel chief executive Paul Otellini and AMD's senior vice president and chief marketing officer Nigel Dessau have debunked the notion that iPad could be affecting netbook sales.
According to Otellini, demand for netbooks is stabilizing and the market is poised for growth since netbooks, initially regarded as a secondary device for consumers, are now becoming a primary purchase for some audiences in emerging markets. Citing data from IDC, Otellini said that in Mexico, about 53 percent of the laptop purchases were netbooks in Q4 2009 and the "phenomenon may replicate itself in places like India as the prices come down."
In a similar vein, AMD's Dessau said that while the market for netbooks is 30 million units a year, about only 10 million iPads are estimated to be sold in 2011.
"There will be people who use iPads and people who use netbooks. And I think we'll discover there's room for both, there are uses for both, and there are opportunities for both," Dessau said.
Agrees NPD Group analyst Stephen Baker. "In 2009, netbook sales were a growth story against nothing (in the year before). So it's really a matter of where we are in the development of the product. I'd say it's very difficult at this stage to attribute declining growth of netbooks to the iPad," ComputerWorld quoted Baker as saying.
The iPad, which is positioned between netbooks and laptops and can surf the internet, show videos, play music and games and display e-books (that can be downloaded via iBook, the online book store with which Apple hopes to revolutionise the publishing world), will initially hit the markets of nine countries including the UK, Germany, France, Spain and Switzerland on May 28.
Hewlett-Packard (HP), Samsung, Dell, Lenovo, Sony, Toshiba, Asus and Acer are the major players in the netbook market.
This article is copyrighted by International Business Times, the business news leader