By Alexander Villafania
First Posted 13:35:00 09/14/2009
MANILA, Philippines - Netbooks – laptops that are usually smaller and meant for Internet use laptops – are shaping up the global PC industry as demand increases.
According to technology research firm Canalys (http://www.canalys.com/pr/2009/r2009091.htm), there were 13.5 million netbooks sold worldwide in just the first six months this year.
The research firm also said netbooks are three times more likely to be used in public than laptops.
Even telecommunications firms are bundling netbooks for their broadband services. Canalys said about 50 telecommunications firms are already selling netbooks.
Canalys Research Analyst Tim Coulling said some of the major brands that are selling well through telcos are Samsung, Asus, HP and Acer, though they are being followed by LG and Samsung.
Slow movers in selling their units through telecommunications firms are Lenovo, Fujitsu, Sony and Toshiba.
“The telcos have massive retail and marketing coverage, so suddenly netbooks are being promoted in newspapers, billboards and storefronts with a prominence never before given to PCs,' Coulling said.
"Vendors that are not present in the telco channel are missing out on valuable promotional opportunities,” he added in the report.
Another positive outcome in the growing netbook business, as well as the growth of the smartphone market, is the justification of the broadband infrastructure investment being made by telecommunications firms.
Some of the telco-sold units are being subsidized and Canalys noted that the “sweet spot” for some of the netbooks is 100 to 199 British pounds (about P8,000 to P16,000).
In the Philippines, Most netbooks are sold off the shelf from about P15,000 to P23,000.
Local telecommunications firms have yet to start selling netbooks directly although they have partnerships with retail shops where they bundle third-generation or 3G USB receivers with netbooks.