Apple iPad fragments netbook market

The introduction of Apple’s wildly popular iPad will likely cause the “fragmentation” – rather than the demise – of the rapidly evolving netbook market.

“We expect the netbook market to fragment according to different regional value propositions,” ABI Research principal analyst Jeff Orr told TG Daily in an e-mailed statement.

“Functionality will be added to mainstream netbook products while at the same time an entry-level netbook solution will grow, with the aim of targeting some large emerging markets (including China and India) where PC penetration is still quite low.”

According to Orr, the pace of netbook market growth will slow to a CAGR of 23 percent, as media tablets start to steal some “netbook thunder.”

“[However], 36.3 million netbooks shipped in 2009…[And ABI] conservatively forecasts media tablet sales of about eight million in 2010, [while] netbook shipments are expected to reach 58 million.”

“[Now], Apple’s claimed shipments of one million iPads in the first month are impressive starting from zero…But even our total media tablet forecast falls far short of what anyone would call mass market adoption.”