These days, everyone seems to agree that slates are cannibalizing laptop sales to some extent. And because of their low cost and limited functionality, netbooks seem particularly vulnerable to cannibalization. IDC doesn't think the iPad and its ilk will bring about the death of netbooks anytime soon, though. In fact, the research firm forecasts a compound annual growth rate of 4.3% for netbook shipments over the next four years.
IDC, which calls netbooks "mini notebooks," expects to see double-digit netbook shipment growth in Latin America, central Europe, eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Growth in the States will only be in the single digits, though, and IDC actually predicts an 11% drop in shipments across western Europe. I guess those new Apple stores in Paris and London must be doing their job.
The research firm goes so far as to estimate future market shares for netbook vendors. It says Acer and Asus will continue to occupy the top two spots on the podium. (Those two vendors reportedly snagged a combined 42.6% of the netbook market last year, seeing further share growth in the first half of this year.) Meanwhile, HP will remain the bronze medalist, with Dell and others getting consolation prizes.