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Netbooks bring good news to display suppliers

Posted: 13 Apr 2009     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:netbook PC displays  TFT-LCD displays  mobile PC 

According to market research firm iSuppli Corp., shipments of low-cost netbook PC displays will nearly quadruple between 2008 and 2012, reaching 4.74 crore units as consumer demand soars for the inexpensive, small form-factor PCs.

Market revenue will more than triple during the same period, rising to Rs.10,441.03 crore ($2.1 billion) in 2012, up from Rs.3,108.44 crore ($625.2 million) in 2008, iSuppli predicted. The forecast numbers are for netbook PCs that use TFT-LCD displays and are in the size range of 7- to 12-inches, the firm said.

"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, a display analyst at iSuppli, in a statement.

The emerging netbook sector is one of the few areas of electronics still showing promising growth amidst the economic downturn. Worldwide unit shipments of netbooks soared by more than 2000 per cent in 2008 and are expected to rise by 68.5 per cent in 2009, according to iSuppli.

The rise of the netbook display segment allows TFT-LCD makers to utilise third- fifth-generation fabs for production, iSuppli said. These fabs, previously employed for larger sized display production, are now fully depreciated, allowing LCD makers to produce netbook displays at a low cost, iSuppli said.

iSuppli defines the netbook as a mobile PC with a fully-functional operating system, including local storage, a keyboard and wireless connectivity. Netbooks are priced at less than Rs.29,831.51 ($600). The primary function of these devices is portable Internet access, serving as a low-cost alternative to notebook PCs.

Worldwide netbook display forecast, 2008-2012

Worldwide netbook display forecast, 2008-2012 (Click to view full image)

The year 2008 marked 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, according to iSuppli.

Many netbooks are being launched with larger display sizes of 10.2 inches and 11.6 inches, and there are product plans in place for displays as large as 12 inches to be used in netbooks, according to iSuppli.

-Dylan McGrath
EE Times

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