Netbook Sales To Be Hit By Oz iPad Launch Says Toshiba Boss

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The head of Toshiba Australia consumer electronics and IT division believes that netbook sales will be hit when Apple launch their new iPad in Australia later this month.

Rob Wilkinson, General Manger of Toshiba’s Information Systems division, said that slate PC technology similar to the iPad was set to be a success and that Toshiba will launch not one but two models to compete with the iPad.
 
“I believe that netbooks sales will come under pressure as there are consumers out there who have bought a netbook because of its portability and size. The iPad or slate PCs will eat into this market, with some consumers choosing slate technology because of the screen size and portability”.

Backing up Wilkinson’s claims is analyst Jeff Orr from ABI research. He said, “We expect the netbook market to fragment according to different regional value propositions. More functionality will be added to mainstream netbook products” as vendors use the netbook format to push into markets like China and India where PC penetration is still quite low.”

In 2010, netbook shipments are expected to reach 58 million with ABI Research predicting that market growth will slow to around 23 percent, as media tablets start to steal some netbook thunder.
 
In February 2009, ABI Research forecast that approximately 35 million netbooks would ship into world markets in the course of the year. That estimate was viewed in some quarters as unrealistically high. However, the final 2009 shipment numbers – 36.3 million netbooks shipped – have confirmed that the forecast was perhaps a little conservative.

The firm’s new “Netbooks, MIDs, Media Tablets, and Mobile CE Market Data” conservatively forecasts media tablet sales of about eight million in 2010.
 
“Apple’s claimed shipments of one million iPad’s in the first month are impressive starting from zero,” says Orr, “but even our total media tablet forecast falls far short of what anyone would call mass market adoption.”
 
While it was understood that Apple could put together a good consumer solution and take significant early market share, there are lots of opportunities for others, it’s a question of how they come to market: solo  as Apple has done, or in conjunction with network operator and distribution partners, said ABI Research.

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