Mini-laptop market to shrink by 40 mn in 2012

Taipei : Tablet computers will eat into the miniature laptop market by 40 million units in 2012, the head of a Taiwanese research institute has said.

Tablets and Ultrabooks will “erode the market share of netbooks, or mini laptops, in 2012,” said Shen Chu-san, director of the Institute for Information Industry’s Market Intelligence Centre (MIC), a government-funded think tank, Xinhua reported.

However, “sales of traditional notebook computers will not be affected by tablets and Ultrabooks, as the latter two have no effect on traditional laptops”, Shen said.

Ultrabooks, as a new trend of personal computer development, consume low power and are thin and light with long standby time.

The number of tablets to be sold globally in the first half of 2012 is expected to reach 29.4 million, up 42 percent year-on-year.

It will be led by Apple’s iPad-2, which occupies more than 90 percent of the global tablet market, the MIC estimated.

Apple is expected to put the iPad-3 on the market in the first quarter of next year.

According to the MIC, about 14 percent of global mobile phone users were also smartphone users in 2011. Therefore, the industry aims at emerging markets such as Asia-Pacific, Middle East and African countries, and plans to develop mid and low-end smartphones to be sold at less than $300 in 2012.

Such low-end smartphones will account for 17 percent of mobile phone sales in 2012 and nearly 50 percent in 2016, the MIC said.

As a global information technology hub, Taiwan produces half of the world’s chips for computers, mobiles phones and other electronics, according to the Taiwan Semiconductor Association (TSIA).

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