Demand for netbooks slumps as tablets continue forward march

Demand for netbooks in the Aussie marketplace has fallen 30 per cent in Q1 2011, compared to the same period last year

The Australian netbook market has slumped, dropping 30 per cent in first quarter compared to the same period last year, according to IDC. The culprits, according to the analyst firm, are the rise of tablets, half a million of which were shipped in Australia last year, price drops of fully fledged notebooks and increased demand for larger-screened laptops in educational institutions.

The Australian PC market grew six per cent year on year and three per cent for the quarter to hit almost 1.5 million units.

After a slow fourth quarter in 2010, Apple and Toshiba experienced significant growth in market share throughout the first quarter of 2011; Apple grew by 13 per cent and Toshiba by 11 per cent.

Toshiba turned last year's lacklustre performance around by slashing prices by 40 per cent on all its notebooks in Harvey Norman stores.

According to IDC, Apple has managed to maintain consistent market share since the third quarter of 2010, driven by demand for its Macbook Air and Macbook Pro ranges as well as its growing retail presence through its Apple stores.

"The halo effect of the success of the iPod which further progressed to the iPhone and iPad is now proving to be a strong driver behind Apple's growing market share," IDC analyst Amy Cheah said in a statement.

"It has been instrumental in building a vast installed base of Apple users accustomed to the Apple experience, which ultimately worked in favour of Apple's Mac range. Interestingly, its influential force in end users' purchasing decisions may have long been underestimated by other vendors."

HP is still dominant with a 21 per cent market share, followed by Acer with 15 per cent and Dell with 13 per cent.

Follow Chloe Herrick on Twitter: @chloe_CW

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU

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