A bright future for netbooks, shipments expected to quadruple by 2012

El Segundo (CA) – One year ago, there were very few who had heard about the term “netbook”. The product category came virtually out of nowhere and is now considered to be crucial for system vendors to support declining PC sales. iSuppli believes that netbook display revenues will top $1 billion this year and unit sales will hit almost 50 million units per year by 2012.

The market research firm said that shipments of low-cost netbook PC displays will nearly quadruple to 47.4 million units in 2012, up from 13.1 million units in 2008. Revenue for the 7”-10” displays will climb from $625.2 million in 2008 to $2.1 billion in 2012. 2009 revenues are expected to break through the $1 billion barrier.

“The rapid expansion of the netbook market represents an attractive opportunity for small/medium display suppliers that are seeing slowing growth in other segments,” said Vinita Jakhanwal, principal analyst, small/medium displays, for iSuppli. “The rise of the netbook segment, along with the advent of the digital photo frame area, has opened up the development of medium-sized displays in the range of 7 to 10 inches.”

2008 was the first full year of volume production of netbook PCs with Asustek, Acer and other top-tier PC makers launching their own netbook PCs targeted at the education and third-world markets. Displays used in low-cost netbook PCs are smaller than those used in regular notebooks, with the main dimensions being 7”, 8.9”, 10.1” and 10.2”.