ACER'S CHAIRMAN, JT Wang, is making some rather bombastic predictions for the netbook industry, claiming worldwide shipments of the little laptops will reach 50 million units by 2010.
Wang also reckons notebook shipments will grow some 32 per cent in 2009 to 170 million units and reach 200 million units in 2010. Netbook shipments, says the chairman, will hockey stick from 13.5 million shipments in 2008, to 25-30 million in 2009.
Of these whopping estimated units, Acer, claims Wang will have a 40-50 per cent market share, a rather sizable chunk.
Dodgytimes quotes Wang as saying any market decline caused by the almighty credit crunch should end by mid year, meaning things are about to buck up big time for the IT industry in 2009's second half.
But a senior research analyst for IDC's European personal computing group, Eszter Morvay, disagrees with the chairman. "From an analyst standpoint I think that most numbers in that article are incorrect," Morvay told the INQ.
First off, Wang's starting with the wong numbers for 2008. Morvay said: "There were only 11 million netbooks shipped, not 13.5 [million]".
Also, according IDC, global notebook shipments will only reach 170 million units in 2010, and even that, says Morvay, is an optimistic number, "given the economic environment and the faster than anticipated decline in some regions". Two hundred million unit shipments by 2010 would, according to Morvay, require "a major recovery globally".
Morvay admits that, while in some regions, like Western Europe, the share of netbooks being shipped is indeed between a quarter and a third of the number of notebooks shipped, other regions show results way below those numbers, making it highly unlikely the worldwide number of netbook shipments would reach 25 per cent of all portables. For that to happen, says Morvay, there would have to be not only consumer take-up of netbooks, but commercial enterprise take up, something Morvay deems unlikely to happen.
"IDC's netbook forecast for 2010 is 30 million," she told the INQ, adding that that was definitely "more in line with reality".
Looks like chairman Wang will have to go back to his calculator again. µ