Meanwhile, conventional notebook sales fell 14% to $23.2 billion during the second quarter. Standard laptops dropped 13% on year to $19.7 billion, ultraportable systems slipped 31% to $1.4 billion, and desktop replacements dropped 6% -- meaning that all portable PC subcategories are down in sales year-over-year except netbooks.
In addition to being more compact, netbooks typically offer something most consumers are after at the moment: low cost. Although the devices are a bit more glamorous than their debut a few years back, they are still mostly just a basic, cheap alternative to full-blown laptops. The many subsidized units offered by telecom giants have also influenced sales.
DisplaySearch expects these trends to continue, with netbooks to account for some 21.5% of portable PC shipments next year.