With slates squeezing in from one side and consumer ultraportables exerting pressure from the other, netbooks don't have a whole lot of breathing room lately—and things will only get worse as more slates come out over the next few months. Still, Acer Taiwan President Scott Lin doesn't expect the netbook market to suffocate. So says DigiTimes, which jotted down some comments made by Lin at a recent press conference:
Lin forecasts that global netbook shipments in 2010 will still be about 40 million units, accounting for 20% of the overall notebook market. In 2011, Lin believes that the netbook market is unlikely to see further growth and will remain at the same scale with only Acer and Asustek Computer left to prop up the market since both Hewlett-Packard (HP) and Dell are not active toward the segment.
Lin also seems hopeful that Intel's newly minted Atom N550 dual-core processor will draw more consumers toward netbooks. According to DigiTimes, Lin reckons N550-based netbooks perform 50% better than their single-core brethren yet don't cost a whole lot more. Some of the first models listed at Newegg are priced at about $380 right now—a good hundred bucks more than single-core netbooks, but still safely out of ultraportable territory... and cheaper than the iPad.